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Moose Jaw Express March 21, 2018

New Beginnings

The first day of spring has arrived.  Spring is my favourite time of year with new life and new beginnings.  The Spring Session of the Legislature began March 12 with several new beginnings as well.

We have both a new Premier and a new Leader of the Opposition starting at the same time.  Premier Scott Moe is an experienced MLA who will lead the Saskatchewan Caucus well through this session.

Three by-elections took place on March 1 and the constituents of Kindersley, Melfort, and Swift Current elected three Saskatchewan Party candidates to represent them in Regina.  Congratulations and welcome to MLAs Ken Francis, Todd Goudy, and Everett Hindley.

We also have a new Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.  It is the Speaker’s duty to ensure that the rules of the House for conducting business are followed and that all members of the House have an opportunity to take part in debates.  Congratulations to Mark Docherty, member for the Constituency of Regina Coronation Park, on his election as Speaker of the House.

Saskatchewan’s 22nd Lieutenant Governor, W. Thomas Molloy, will be sworn-in during a ceremony at the Legislative Building this week. He will replace the outgoing Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield, who has held the position since 2012.  Thank you to Lieutenant Governor Solomon Schofield for her outstanding service to our province.

The Spring Session will move forward on bills introduced last fall.  Approval for a new Provincial Park in the Porcupine Plain area will be finalized and will be an exciting entry into the camping season this summer.  Time will be spent completing provincial legislation that will be required when the federal government legalizes the use of recreational cannabis later this year.  We will be prepared with appropriate policies and regulations.  The Residential Tenancies Act will be amended to provide landlords the right to impose rules prohibiting the possession, use, and sale of cannabis in the rental unit as well as the growing and possession of cannabis plants.

Legislation will be introduced to update our provincial legislation for administrative consequences for drug-impaired driving.  Saskatchewan will have zero tolerance for all drivers for drug-impaired driving.  Anyone charged with any of the new drug-impaired driving offences under the Criminal Code will receive an immediate license suspension until the charges are dealt with in court.  Other traffic safety legislation will make the consequences more severe for alcohol or drug-impaired drivers while transporting children.  I encourage you to learn more about Saskatchewan’s cannabis framework at

www.saskatchewan.ca/government/cannabis-in-saskatchewan.

The 2018-19 Budget will be tabled on Tuesday, April 10.  The budget will reflect controlled spending, measures to help keep our economy strong, investment in the services needed by the people of our province and our government’s three-year plan to balance the budget.

If any constituent would like to attend the Budget presentation on April 10, please contact our office.  I am looking forward to the remainder of the new Legislative Session, and the proceedings that will help keep Saskatchewan growing stronger.