Remembrance Day is recognized in Canada on November 11 each year and on November 1, our government passed Bill 139 The Saskatchewan Remembrance Observance Act. Our veterans, current and past, have fought for our freedom and peace in Canada. Providing the right for workers to wear a poppy while in the workplace is a way to honour the sacrifices veterans and their families have made. The Bill ensures that employees wear a poppy recognized by the Royal Canadian Legion in the workplace if they choose unless it poses a danger to the health, safety or welfare of the worker or others.
Our government is committed to investing in services that matter most to Saskatchewan people. That is why we have been actively working with all levels of government along with Indigenous and community partners to continue addressing issues like homelessness in Saskatchewan. Supports are already underway for those in greatest need with our recently announced investment of $40.2 million to fund a new Provincial Approach to Homelessness. This will create 155 new supportive housing spaces, 120 new permanent emergency shelter spaces, and enhance community safety and outreach responses that include 30 new complex needs emergency shelter spaces. New permanent emergency shelter spaces in communities based on their need will mean approximately 500 permanent emergency shelter spaces are available this winter across the province.
In addition, the funding includes our government’s support to YWCA Prince Albert to add 45 new permanently enhanced emergency shelter spaces. YWCA Prince Albert provides shelter, supportive housing, and assistance to those in greatest need. The enhanced emergency shelters will provide full access to shelter (24 hours per day, seven days per week). Clients are also provided three meals per day, case planning and access to wrap-around supports to address wellness and cultural needs, with assistance in connecting to services such as financial support and help to transition to appropriate housing.
Recently, the federal government announced a three-year exemption from the carbon tax for home heating oil. This exemption primarily benefits families in Atlantic Canada, where 40 per cent of them rely on heating oil compared to just 0.4 per cent in our province. In Saskatchewan, natural gas serves as our primary source for home heating, with 85 per cent of Saskatchewan households having natural gas furnaces.
This decision by the federal government has created a situation that makes life more affordable for families in one part of the country, leaving Saskatchewan families out in the cold. That is why we are calling on the federal government to extend the same carbon tax exemption to Saskatchewan families including all types of home heating such as natural gas.
If they do not, starting January 1, 2024, SaskEnergy will stop collecting and remitting the carbon tax on natural gas. This means Saskatchewan people will have the same exemption that the federal government is giving Atlantic Canadians who use heating oil.
As our government continues to move forward with the Fall session of the Legislature, I look forward to hearing from you. If you have questions, concerns, or comments, please reach out to my constituency office at 306-922-2828 or email@example.com. Or feel free to stop in our office, located at Bay 4, 406 South Industrial Drive.