(2 March 2016)
Saskatchewan Investing in Student Success
Unlocking our potential as a province begins in the classroom. Teachers, school boards and support staff do an incredible job giving Saskatchewan students the best education possible and our government has responded to their needs by increasing funding each and every year.
We understand how student success is fundamental to keeping Saskatchewan strong. That’s why we’re focused on working with our partners from across the province to increase literacy levels and graduation rates to help ensure that all students can meet and exceed expectations.
This year’s record $2 billion budget for education brings our total capital investment since 2007/08 to 40 new schools and major renovations to another 25. Even in times of spending restraint, our government believes that it is vital to continue supporting schools and communities experiencing rapid growth.
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Our government has committed approximately $966 million toward 65 major school capital projects and numerous smaller projects such as portable classrooms and preventative maintenance and renewal. This demonstrates our commitment to improving the quality of life for our students, teachers and communities.
Under the NDP, K-12 education was underfunded, 176 Saskatchewan schools were closed, and the number of teachers teaching declined. Under our government, K-12 education funding has increased every year, we’re building new schools there are now 600 more teachers and 200 more student support teachers teaching.
Private-Pay MRI Services Begin in Saskatchewan
Our government is committed to providing patients with more choice over their care decisions. Saskatchewan people who choose to pay for an MRI can now access that service right here in their own province, while also providing additional capacity within the public system.
Patients now have the option to choose to directly pay a private facility for an MRI scan in Saskatchewan. Facilities that conduct a private MRI scan must then also provide a second scan at no charge to an individual who is on the public waiting list.
The addition of private-pay MRI services in our province will complement publicly-funded scans and provide an opportunity to expand capacity to address demand. A list of facilities licensed to provide private-pay MRI service is available by searching MRI at saskatchewan.ca.
Since 2007-08, capacity for public MRI services has increased by about 115 per cent. With the recent addition of the new MRI at the Dr. F.H. Wigmore Hospital in Moose Jaw, there are now 10 publicly-funded MRI scanners accessible to residents of Saskatchewan.
Eleven Infrastructure Projects in Saskatchewan Get Joint Government Funding
The Government of Saskatchewan is working with the federal government to provide priority public infrastructure projects that deliver on local needs in communities across the province. Under the Small Communities Fund, our government is investing more than $5 million toward improving critical water and wastewater systems in 11 communities across the province.
- Town of Arcola Wastewater Lagoon Expansion – $3,300,000
- Village of Drake Wastewater Lagoon Expansion – $726,000
- Town of Kinistino New Lift Station and Lagoon – 2,510,000
- Town of LeRoy Sewage Pumping Station and Force Main – $1,690,000
- Village of Macoun Wastewater Lagoon Expansion – $984,000
- Village of Mankota Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade – $850,000
- Village of Muenster Sewer System Upgrades – $520,000
- Village of Quill Lake Wastewater Lagoon Expansion – $734,638
- Town of Radville Lagoon Expansion and Treatment – $1,344,000
- Town of Watrous Lagoon Expansion – $3,420,000
- Village of Yarbo Water Treatment Plant Upgrade – $119,000
Since 2008, our government has invested $345 million in municipal infrastructure funding. This is in addition to the Municipal Revenue Sharing program which provides one full point of Provincial Sales Tax revenue to municipalities. Revenue sharing to municipalities has more than doubled from $127 million when our government took office to $271 million in 2016/17.
New Energy Investment in Saskatchewan
Despite low oil prices, our province’s energy sector continues to attract billions of dollars in new investment. It is another indication of our diversified, resilient economy weathering the economic uncertainty and continuing to create opportunity for Saskatchewan families.
On Tuesday, Husky Energy celebrated the opening of the Edam East heavy oil thermal project, located near the village of Edam. This is the first of three heavy oil thermal projects Husky will bring online this year. These projects will create 500 construction jobs and 90 permanent positions.
Husky’s investment is the latest in a number of announcements that indicate Saskatchewan’s energy sector remains strong despite weak oil prices.
New Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford On Time and On Budget
Construction of the new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford is on time, on budget and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2018. Construction, which has continued throughout the winter months, has now included bulk excavation, formwork, concrete work and backfilling.
Construction of this new publicly owned and operated 284-bed facility has already involved 11 local businesses and is expected to create approximately 1,500 construction-related jobs. You can track progress on the project by viewing the construction site webcam.
Our government has made record investments in important infrastructure projects like hospitals, highways, and schools in every part of Saskatchewan. Total investment in infrastructure has been nearly $8 billion in just eight years – more than double what the NDP invested in its last eight years.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Lyle.
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