What to Expect
The Saskatchewan Legislature adjourns Thursday and will not return until October. On Wednesday, Royal Assent takes place and nearly 50 government bills, the entire legislative agenda of the government, will pass. Some of the highlights of the session include major funding for healthcare, the creation of the Saskatchewan Indigenous Investment Fund Corporation, and enhancements to labour mobility. Premier Scott Moe also led trade missions to the U.K. and U.A.E. this spring, and we will watch for results from those missions over the coming months.
This will be Ryan Meili’s last week as the leader of the NDP opposition in the Legislature, and likely his last week of session as an MLA as he is rumored to be stepping down from his seat this summer. The NDP leadership contest will take place June 26 in Regina, where the NDP membership will choose between former Deputy Leader and MLA Carla Beck and Saskatoon lawyer and community organizer Kaitlyn Harvey.
In Manitoba, Premier Heather Stephanson, Opposition Leader Wab Kinew, and Infrastructure Minister Doyle Piwniuk toured the flood-ravaged province by helicopter Sunday. The current situation will likely lead to discussion this week on three fronts: the need for more flood mitigation infrastructure, disaster relief assistance for those displaced, and support for the province’s agriculture industry. As of Sunday, there have been 33 states of local emergency declared across the province.
Last week, a provincial byelection was called for the electoral district of Thomson for June 7 to fill the seat of NDP MLA Danielle Adams who was tragically killed in a highway crash last December. The NDP have held the northern Manitoba riding in all but two elections since 1969. While similarities can be drawn to the recent byelection in northern Saskatchewan where the Saskatchewan Party defeated the NDP in a traditional stronghold, it is unlikely that this seat will switch to the Manitoba PCs, due to the relatively low popularity of the government and its leadership.
The Week That Was
The Government of Saskatchewan is providing $17.5 million in operating grants to Saskatchewan’s 21 independent schools and four historical high schools for the 2022-23 school year.
On May 13, 25 affordable housing units that will support people recovering from addictions were officially opened in Saskatoon. The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are jointly providing $865,000 toward these units through the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Agreement.
The Manitoba government is now accepting applications for the Conservation and Climate Fund, and has increased the size of the fund to $1.5 million. Grants will be available for selected projects that support current priorities and align with at least one of three categories: clean technology, water, nature, or resilient landscapes.
The provincial government is investing $1 million in projects that will support the post-COVID-19 recovery of sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. Four organizations will each receive $250,000 for projects that address their sector’s specific labour market needs.