Throne speech focuses on economic development

150 addiction treatment beds to be added

October 28, 2021, 9:01 am


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Saskatchewan started a new legislative session Wednesday with a Throne Speech that focused
on economic development and job creation opportunities.

The Throne Speech also outlined plans to address crime in rural areas, through an increased police presence and to increase the number of addiction treatment beds in the province.

"Our government is working to build a better Saskatchewan - a stronger, safer, healthier, better educated and more independent Saskatchewan," Premier Scott Moe said.

"That starts with a strong and growing economy that provides the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all Saskatchewan people."

Moe said that even in a very challenging year, Saskatchewan has attracted a significant number of new major projects resulting in billions of dollars of economic investment and thousands of new jobs. These include:

A new potash mine;

Three new canola crushing plants and a major expansion of an existing plant;

Canada's first wheat straw pulp facility;

A new oriented strand board mill;

A revitalized Prince Albert Pulp Mill;

Expanded and upgraded sawmills; and

A new seeder assembly facility.

"If Saskatchewan can attract that kind of new investment and opportunities in a difficult year like this one, our potential is almost unlimited in the years ahead," Moe said. "Even with the challenges we are facing today, the 2020s will still be Saskatchewan's decade."

In the Throne Speech, the government said it will continue to encourage and attract new investment to the province by:

Enhancing the Saskatchewan Value-Added Agriculture Incentive;

Providing financing to Indigenous businesses through a new Saskatchewan Indigenous Investment Finance Corporation; and

Launching a new Sustainable Saskatchewan brand that will promote the high quality and environmental sustainability of products produced in Saskatchewan.

In the Throne Speech, the government committed to increase its efforts to reduce crime by:

Adding 60 new police positions;

Creating a new Provincial Protective Services Unit that brings together, under one command,

Conservation Officers, Highway Patrol officers, Provincial Capital Commission community safety officers, Safer Community and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) officers and deputy sheriffs working in the provincial court system;

Creating a Saskatchewan Trafficking Response Team (STRT) to target criminals who transport illegal drugs and weapons into the province, and combat human trafficking;

Creating a Warrant Enforcement and Suppression Team (WEST) to target dangerous offenders with outstanding warrants so they are brought to justice before they commit further crimes;

Creating four new Crime Reduction Teams in Meadow Lake, La Ronge, Lloydminster and Moose Jaw, adding to the five teams already operating in the province;

Introducing amendments to The Seizure of Criminal Property Act to combat the laundering of money generated through illegal activities; and

Enacting The Trespass to Property Act on January 1, 2022, and further strengthening that Act by increasing penalties for repeat offenders and making it easier for land owners to seek damages against trespassers.

Moe said the government needs to do more to help those with addictions. The Throne Speech outlines a number of measures including adding 150 new addictions treatment spaces over the next three years.

The Throne Speech also outlined a number of other pieces of new legislation to be introduced, including:

A bill to prevent demonstrators from restricting access to hospitals;

Amendments to The Inter-Jurisdictional Support Orders Act to strengthen the ability to enforce child and spousal support payments when the payer has moved to another province;

Amendments to The Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act to allow the Maintenance Enforcement Office to take quick action when support is being repeatedly withheld; and

Amendments to The Privacy Act to protect against the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.
The Throne Speech outlines a number of Truth and Reconciliation measures the government is taking, including:

Providing $2 million to the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) to investigate undocumented deaths and burials at the sites of former residential schools;

Building a memorial at Government House in Regina to honour those impacted by the residential school system;

Signing of the first agreement of its kind in Canada with Cowessess First Nation to assume jurisdiction over child welfare for its members;

Expansion of the Opikihiwawin program offering culturally appropriate child welfare services to Indigenous families;

Signing a new online gaming agreement with FSIN; and

A commitment to install highway signs marking the boundary between Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 territories to further raise awareness about the Treaties in Saskatchewan.

The Throne Speech also commits to building a stronger, more independent Saskatchewan by:

Being full participants in any upcoming negotiations about changes to federal equalization triggers by the recent Alberta referendum; and

Considering other measures that could make Saskatchewan more autonomous, like provincial collection of corporate taxes and the creation of a provincial police force to compliment the services provided by municipal police forces and the RCMP.

"This Throne Speech outlines an ambitious agenda for a strong and growing province," Moe said. "Saskatchewan people know that our province's best days are still ahead, and our government will continue to work hard every day to reflect that optimism and confidence."


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