Saskatchewan & Manitoba This Week

What to Expect

The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) convention is taking place in Regina this week. It will provide a good opportunity for the Saskatchewan Party government to speak to its rural base. The convention includes keynote addresses from Premier Scott Moe, Minister of Government Relations Don McMorris, a “bear pit” session (where delegates can ask questions to all of Cabinet), as well as many break-out sessions with Ministers. Expect much of the discussion to be around taxation, agriculture drainage, rural healthcare, environmental issues, internet connectivity for rural areas, and roads

Premier Heather Stefanson’s government will continue to feel pressure on its COVID response as it gears up for the March 22nd byelection in Fort Whyte. The riding is a historically PC seat in Winnipeg, vacated by former Premier Brian Pallister. Pallister easily won the seat in the 2019 general election by 40 points. Many are calling this byelection a poll on the government’s pandemic response, with all of the major parties running high-profile candidates. The Stefanson PCs will likely hold the seat.

Just like in other provinces that have done so, also look this week for a lot of focus on how dangerous a threat COVID remains, as restrictions are dropped today.

The Week That Was

Saskatchewan

The Government of Saskatchewan is providing approximately $140,000 in grants in order to advance truth and reconciliation education in the province.

Job numbers released by Statistics Canada for February 2022 show Saskatchewan added 30,100 jobs, an increase of 5.6 per cent, compared to February 2021. Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate (4.7 per cent) is the 2nd lowest among provinces and is the province’s lowest rate since April 2015.

Roman Abramovich, part owner of steel company Evraz, was sanctioned due to his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Questions over how to keep the company operating in Saskatchewan while countering Russian influence and international sanctions have been much discussed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month.

Regina released its plan to reach net-zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050. The plan says it would create 4,000 jobs but will cost $12.5 billion.

Manitoba

The Manitoba government introduced proposed legislation to amend the Beneficiary Designation Act (Retirement, Saving, and Other Plans) to allow authorized substitute decision makers to maintain the original beneficiary designation when the plan is changed, converted, or moved to a new financial institution

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