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Legislative Report
(28 June 2012)

Regina Revitalization Initiative

On June 28th, our government responded to the City of Regina’s funding proposal for their Regina Revitalization Initiative. While we declined their request for $230 million for various projects forming the RRI, we did announce that we are prepared to provide funding in the amount of $80 million toward the cost of a new stadium. That amount represents funding up to 30 per cent of the project cost. The province will not provide any operating funding and the financial model for the stadium will need to demonstrate self-sufficiency. This level of funding is consistent with what our government has provided to similar projects in communities across the province over the last five years. The remainder of the funding will come from the Riders, fans, the City of Regina and the private sector. One of the conditions we put on the proposal is that any new stadium be "roof-ready."

A new stadium makes sense in these times of historic growth in Saskatchewan and it’s great to see that in the new Saskatchewan, it is no longer city versus city or urban versus rural. The new attitude of the people of our province is positive and that is why we are moving forward together as part of the Saskatchewan Advantage. If there’s one institution that brings Saskatchewan people together like no other, it’s the Roughriders. That’s just one of the reasons our government recently announced a proposal that could result in a new home for the Green and White along with a great facility for Amateur Sport.

Population Growth

Over the last few weeks, new numbers reflecting that growth have been tumbling in. We learned that our population grew by almost 20,000 people last year - I’m sure that at least a few of those people are either current or future Riders’ fans! Other positive numbers in recent weeks include record high building permits and retail sales and a new all-time high of 548,900 people working in the province.

I’m also happy to report another number - but this one’s going down, not up, and that’s a good thing. I’m talking about the length of time people are waiting for surgery in Saskatchewan. Our government’s efforts to reduce surgical wait times continue to produce results. We learned in recent weeks that the number of people waiting six months for surgery is down 56 per cent. This is good news in that it shows we are making progress toward our goal of no one waiting more than six months for surgery by March 31, 2013 – with a further reduction to a maximum of three months by the end of March 2014.

A much closer deadline is the one for submissions on our government’s review of the province’s labour legislation. It’s now just over two weeks away. In May, we announced a comprehensive review of existing labour legislation – some examples of topics under consideration included essential services legislation, union financial disclosure, the payment and collection of union dues and indexation of the minimum wage. You can access the discussion paper on-line at http://www.lrws.gov.sk.ca/modernizing-legislation.

Another important date that has come and gone – with the keeping of two more campaign promises – was July 1st. In addition to being Canada’s 145th birthday, it was also the day some important changes came into effect that will assist seniors with lower incomes. Under the new Personal Care Home Benefit (PHCB), eligible seniors will receive monthly financial assistance to help cover the cost of living in licensed personal care home, amounting to the difference between their monthly income and a threshold of $1,800. Also on July 1st, seniors receiving benefits under the Seniors Income Plan (SIP) started receiving up to $50 more each month. For more information on the PHCB call 1-855-544-7242 – for more info on SIP call 1-800-667-7161. These changes reflect our government’s ongoing commitment to improving the quality of life for Saskatchewan’s seniors.

If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Donna.

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