Spring Session Ends with Many Bills Passed
The Spring Session of the Legislature ended last Thursday. Almost 50 bills were passed during the session. Debate on some of these had begun in the Fall Session. There were enjoyable times, and there were serious and sad times. I think it brought out the kid in all of us as we proclaimed our newest emblem, the Tyrannosaurus rex, as Saskatchewan’s Provincial Fossil.
The entire legislative assembly grieved with the people of Humboldt, the hockey community and all of Saskatchewan when the Humboldt Broncos horrific accident happened. We saw the city of Moose Jaw also express their support with the Evan Thomas benefit hockey event, the vigil at Vanier Collegiate, and other community events. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those affected by this tragedy.
Much work and deliberation went into legislation concerning the federally mandated legalization of cannabis. Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority will be responsible for the regulation and control of cannabis. Legislation will prohibit the possession, consumption, or distribution of cannabis by minors under the age of 19, in line with the province’s legal age for consumption of alcohol. The Act will prohibit the consumption of cannabis in public places or in vehicles. Saskatchewan will have zero tolerance for all drivers for drug-impaired driving. Anyone charged with a drug-impaired driving offence will receive an immediate license suspension until the charges are dealt with in court.
The Saskatchewan Technology Start-up Incentive legislation is designed to increase investment in early stage technology start-ups in our province. The incentive offers a 45 per cent non-refundable tax credit for individual and corporate equity investments in eligible technology start-up businesses. It will help enhance the growth, attraction and retention of start-ups and talent in the province.
As promised by our government last year, The School Choice Protection Act was passed. This legislation will amend The Education Act in order to provide certainty to parents and students that the government can continue funding students who attend Catholic separate schools regardless of their religious affiliation. The Government of Saskatchewan can now invoke section 33 of the Charter, commonly known as the notwithstanding clause, to allow The Education Act to operate notwithstanding sections 2(a) and 15 of the Charter.
Two other important pieces of legislation will protect vulnerable individuals. The Privacy Amendment Act will allow a person whose intimate image has been distributed without their consent, even if they consented to the image itself being taken or took that image themselves, to sue the person who distributed the image,. Plaintiffs will now have the option to proceed with an action in either small claims or the Court of Queen’s Bench.
The Traffic Safety Act amendment will make the consequences more severe for drivers who are impaired and who transport children. Drivers with blood alcohol content between .04 and .08 or who fail a field sobriety test will face a seven-day administrative driving suspension if they are transporting any child under the age of 16.
I look forward to spending more time in the constituency with the Spring Legislative Session completed. Moose Jaw is an active centre during June & July and I will be attending many community events. Please take time to say Hello if we cross paths, or stop by the office at 326 High Street West.