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Moose Jaw Express April 4, 2018

Standing Up for Saskatchewan

The Spring Sitting of the Legislature will resume next week after a break for Easter and our team of MLAs from across the province remains focused on standing up for Saskatchewan. Premier Moe has led by example, demonstrating his leadership in the areas of pipeline development, finding solutions to the grain transportation backlog and fighting the imposition of a carbon tax on Saskatchewan.

Recently, the Legislative Assembly was shocked to hear the Leader of the Opposition describe our government’s fight against the Trudeau carbon tax as a “costly and pointless crusade”. Saskatchewan people know that a carbon tax would hurt agriculture and industries that drive our economy, and they understand how it will drive up costs while doing nothing to reduce global emissions. The NDP’s new leader wants to force a carbon tax on Saskatchewan but you can rest assured that whether it’s Ryan Meili or Justin Trudeau, our government will fight the imposition of a carbon tax every step of the way.

While we disagree with the Prime Minister on the carbon tax file, there were positive discussions with Premier Moe during the P.M.’s recent visit to Saskatchewan. For example, his assurance that the Trans Mountain pipeline will be built was welcome news. We will continue to work together with our federal counterparts on international trade, and to promote Canadian exports.

The rail shipment backlog for the 2017 harvest continues to be a pressure issue, as it was in 2013. Our government remains actively engaged and is working with the federal government and rail companies to find solutions to what has become a significant concern for all of Saskatchewan. Railways and the federal government need to do more to proactively address this challenge. Getting more pipelines built to take oil off of rail will make moving energy resources safer, more efficient, and environmentally sustainable, and would provide more access to get Saskatchewan grain to market.

A strong export-based economy requires strong trade relationships. India’s High Commissioner to Canada recently visited our province, providing an opportunity for Premier Moe and our government to promote our top industries. Saskatchewan’s trade with India has nearly doubled in the past decade and we will continue to find ways to improve our valuable trade relationship.

Our population numbers are a good indication of the strength of the economy and the most recent statistics show another all-time record. Saskatchewan’s population was estimated to be 1,169,752 as of January 1, 2018, up 13,410 people from the previous year, as our province continues to grow.

Our province could not continue to grow and support a higher population without construction in all its forms. This week, April 11–17, is Saskatchewan Construction Week. Whether it is the houses we live in, the schools our children attend, the hospitals providing health services, the roads we drive on, the bridges we cross, or the industries that improve our economy, construction is part of our every day lives.

There are 13,735 businesses in Saskatchewan’s construction sector, our second largest private sector employer with over 50,000 employees in 2017. These are extremely important economic and social contributions. There will be events across the province to celebrate Saskatchewan Construction Week. Of note is the Provincial Skills Competition in Regina; good luck to all the participants.

Our construction workers, our educators, our retailers, our health care workers, our industries, service organizations and volunteers; the people of our province come together to make Saskatchewan better every day. Our government will stand with our great people to defend Saskatchewan’s interests.