326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

Report from the Legislature November 23, 2017

Saskatchewan is moving to a single provincial health authority to better integrate and coordinate health care services for Saskatchewan people, wherever they live.

There will be no changes to health care programs, services, facilities or phone numbers and residents and patients should continue to access care in the same way they always have.

The focus is streamlining governance and management across the province with frontline employees carrying out their day-to-day patient care responsibilities as usual.

While there will be some changes to senior administration, maintaining local connections and preserving strong community relationships will be a priority moving forward.

Management and support services will continue to be located across the province, and local health system contacts and representatives will still be available to community partners.

On Monday, December 4, 2017, the employees and operations of the province’s 12 Regional Health Authorities will officially transfer to the new Saskatchewan Health Authority.

The transition will allow the provincial government to reduce senior administrative staff positions by 86% and reduce senior administrative staff salaries by 80% or $9 million annually.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority will be the largest organization in Saskatchewan with over 44,000 employees and physicians responsible for the delivery of high quality and timely health care for the entire province.

During a decade of growth, our government has made record investments in the infrastructure needed to grow our economy and secure a better quality of life for Saskatchewan people.

Recently, a $27 million twinning project east of Estevan along Highway 39 officially opened to traffic. Aimed at improving safety and efficiency for motorists and truckers, the project includes 10 km of twinning on Highway 39 from east of Estevan to southeast of its junction with Highway 18.

I want to thank the residents in the area for their patience during construction. This stretch of highway sees about 6,000 vehicles daily and our government looks forward to the benefits this section of highway will provide to the people of Saskatchewan as well as the trucking industry.

The completion of this project demonstrates our government’s commitment to investing in infrastructure that improves the safety and efficiency of Saskatchewan highways. In all, about $7.4 billion has been invested in highways and infrastructure since 2008 in Saskatchewan.

In addition to new highways and schools, hospitals and long-term care facilities, access to safe and affordable housing has always been a key priority for our government.

Since November 2007, our government has invested more than $773 million to develop 11,600 new units and repair 4,330 homes around the province.

Housing activity in the last decade includes the following:

  • To date, 588 affordable rental housing units have been developed for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Another 112 units are currently under construction.
  • Since November 2007, 519 affordable rental housing units have been developed and are owned by Indigenous housing providers. These projects received more than $44 million in funding.  An additional 66 units, with $6 million in funding, are under construction.
  • Since November 2007, government has invested $2.87 million in the development of 40 affordable rental units for people with disabilities.
  • SHC’s Rental Development Program is targeting funding for projects for people with complex needs.
  • SHC is working with northern stakeholders to address housing challenges in the North.  Since 2007, through a number of initiatives and partnerships with municipalities and other government agencies, more than 300 rental and homeowner units have been delivered or are under construction in northern Saskatchewan.
  • The Ministry of Social Services is involved in a number of community-based efforts to provide shelter for the homeless, including cold weather strategies, community advisory boards, community-based homelessness planning efforts, community mobilization, and child, youth and family community partnerships.
  • There are 455 permanent emergency shelter spaces in Saskatchewan, not including temporary emergency shelter beds, domestic violence shelters, youth shelters, detox centres, and First Nations shelters.  Since 2007, the number of emergency shelter spaces in the province has more than doubled, representing an increase of 237 new permanent shelter spaces.
  • Through SHC’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity, the province is developing additional affordable homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income Saskatchewan people.
  • Through the HeadStart on a Home program, the province continues to collaborate with builders, municipalities, and financial institutions to increase the supply of entry-level homes in the province.

We will continue to do our best to deliver housing and homelessness programs that support Saskatchewan citizens in greatest housing need, and keep Saskatchewan growing stronger.