(2 July 2020)
Irrigation Expansion Project Announced for Lake Diefenbaker
Your Saskatchewan Party government is working to secure a strong economic recovery after the impacts of COVID-19. This means moving forward with investments and projects that will benefit families and communities for generations to come.
One such project will fulfill the vision of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker by irrigating up to 500,000 acres of land from Lake Diefenbaker, more than doubling the irrigable land in Saskatchewan. This three-phase project will boost regional economic development through increased crop production and value-added processing.
Lake Diefenbaker is a major resource to us and being able to fulfil this vision will add to the Saskatchewan Advantage. $22.5 million for preliminary engineering and initial construction is part of an approximately $4 billion investment over the next decade.
The first phase will include the rehabilitation and expansion of the existing Westside irrigation canal system which will increase the amount of irrigable land by 80,000 acres in the area. 90 per cent of the canal is already in place, making this the most shovel-ready irrigation project for the province.
The second phase will see further expansion and buildout of the Westside Irrigation Project. Upon its completion, there will be 260,000 acres of irrigable land. Once fully built and developed, more land will be made available for irrigation near Macrorie, Milden, Zealandia, Delisle and Asquith.
The third and final phase will see buildout of the Qu’Appelle South Irrigation Project, adding an estimated 120,000 acres of irrigable land. This will provide the Moose Jaw-Regina Corridor and southern Saskatchewan with a secure source of water for the next century.
Not only will this project improve Saskatchewan’s quality of life, it will also generate an estimated 25,000 person-years of employment over the next ten years. Our government plans to work closely with the industry to ensure this legacy project is a success.
Remaining Phase 4 Dates Announced for Re-Opening Plan
Saskatchewan people have been exceptional in their efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus, something I hope to see continue in the weeks and months ahead. Our government recently announced the remaining opening dates of Phase 4 to Re-Open Saskatchewan. Our communities have made exceptional efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus, and I hope to see this success carry through to the future.
Starting July 6, indoor pools, rinks and performing art spaces can open with a return to indoor sports and activities. As part of this, restaurant capacity limits can also be removed. As a government, we are grateful for the efforts and level of care we have seen from restaurants across the province. They adapted quickly to new health standards and have been able to keep customers safe and well-served.
Starting July 9, casinos and bingo halls in Saskatchewan can resume operation with social distancing still as important as it was at the beginning of this pandemic. July 16 has also been set as a target date to allow for live entertainment, rodeos and racetracks. Guidelines are currently being developed for these venues.
Saskatchewan post-secondary institutions are well into their fall planning stages, and we will continue to communicate with them on health guidelines and restrictions.
Thanks to the cooperation of our communities, Saskatchewan’s response and recovery from COVID-19 has been successful so far. Guidelines on our Re-Open Saskatchewan plan are available online and I would encourage all residents to remind themselves of new protocols for the coming weeks and months at www.saskatchewan.ca/re-open.
A 3-week legislative sitting to present a pass Canada’s first provincial or federal budget in a post-COVID reality has ended. I’m pleased to say Budget 2020-21 includes record investments in health, in schools and in infrastructure that will get Saskatchewan people back to work in the weeks and months ahead. You can learn more about these important investments online at Saskatchewan.ca/budget.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Lyle.
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