What to Expect
The opposition NDP has a new leader – Regina Lakeview MLA Carla Beck. She defeated Saskatoon-area lawyer and climate activist, Kaitlyn Harvey. Beck is the first woman to serve as the party’s leader. The election comes following the resignation of Ryan Meili as both the leader and as the MLA for Saskatoon-Meewasin. The number of NDP members eligible to vote was down significantly from the previous contest. Beck secured the win with 3,244 votes out of 4,741 votes cast, approximately 68 per cent. There were 7,294 eligible party voters.
With the departure of Meili, the Saskatchewan Party government will have to call a by-election in Saskatoon Meewasin. The by-election will be the first major test Beck faces. The NDP lost a by-election in Athabasca in February 2022, a riding the party had held for over 20 years.
Politics in Manitoba, meanwhile, will be overtaken by discussions about the nature of Canada Day, prompted by the renaming of the day at The Forks in Winnipeg to “New Day.” Mayoral candidates, the opposition NDP leader, and Premier all made statements debating the name change.
The Week That Was
On June 23, the Government of Saskatchewan announced an additional $20 million in funding for the Saskatchewan Research Council’s (SRC) Rare Earth Processing facility. The funding will allow the facility to expand its capabilities with the addition of a metals unit and will address increased costs in the project resulting from various global supply chain challenges.
The Mosaic Company, K+S Potash Canada, and Nutrien Ltd. have all announced planned potash production increases at their Saskatchewan facilities due to growing concerns around global food security.
On June 27, the governments of Canada and Manitoba announced the allocation of nearly $37 million to implement a wage grid that will support wage equity for the early childhood workforce in funded child-care facilities. The wage grid supplement will be effective as of July 1, and will help the sector retain qualified staff, boost recruitment efforts, and ensure staff working in school-age childcare programs are fairly and consistently compensated.
The governments of Canada and Manitoba have announced the allocation of $8.1 million to support new, ongoing operating grants that will fund more than 3,100 new early learning and child-care expansion spaces at 177 facilities across the province.
The Manitoba government is allocating more than $20 million to build on previous investments that strengthen student support and learning across kindergarten to Grade 12 schools in the 2022-23 school year.