Saskatchewan & Manitoba This Week

What to Expect

The Spring Session of the Saskatchewan Legislature begins this week, and it will feel a little different. Former NDP leader Ryan Meili was the main actor in Question Period, and without him it will be interesting to see who takes over the role from within the Opposition. As opposed to focusing on a select few MLAs, the party will likely spread the role out among caucus.

Session itself will likely continue to focus on COVID-19, as calls are renewed for a full inquiry into the decisions the government made over the last two years. Look to Carla Beck to try to make a splash, as she is the only person who has entered the NDP leadership race so far. The newest member will also be sworn in as Jim Lemaigre from Athabasca enters the Legislature. This is the first time the Saskatchewan Party has held this seat, making the seat count 48 SP, 12 NDP, and one Independent.

Having eased restrictions more slowly than Alberta and Saskatchewan, Manitoba will still be focused on whether the reduction of public health orders is too fast or too slow.

The Week That Was

Saskatchewan

The province will soon be accepting Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

In an effort to attract highly skilled workers into the province, Saskatchewan is launching a new program called the Tech Talent Pathway through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program.

Manitoba

The Manitoba government is making the following changes to the Elections Act to streamline the voting process:

  • The chief electoral officer will be able to authorize the use of vote-counting machines. Some manual counting may continue in rural and remote areas as allowed by Elections Manitoba;

  • Voters would be served by the first available voting officer;

  • Counting ballots by residents or non-residents in the electoral division where they were cast on election night, then reporting those results to the appropriate home electoral division via secure electronic technology; and

  • Introduce special printers to print on-demand ballots at the voting location for non-residents voting in advance outside of their electoral division and in other specified circumstances.

The Manitoba government introduced two legislative amendments that would allow pharmacists to continue to conduct COVID-19 tests and for co-operative, condominium and corporate directors, shareholders, members, and unit owners to be allowed to meet virtually once the same provisions put in place by the Emergency Measures Act expire.

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