As summer has wrapped up and students are back in school, our government announced some new policies regarding parental involvement in education. Schools are now required to seek permission before changing the preferred name and pronouns of students under the age of 16, parents must be informed about sexual education curriculum and have the option to opt out, and third-party organizations are no longer permitted to teach sexual education in schools.
These new policies come in response to concerns raised by parents across the province. Parent involvement is critical in every student’s education, and our government will continue to ensure safe learning environments where all students feel included, protected and respected.
Saskatchewan’s economy remains strong. This June, the province’s wholesale trade had increased by 70.5 per cent compared to June 2022, with a total value of $7.2 billion. As of July, housing starts are also up by 50.7 per cent compared to July 2022, ranking us second among the provinces.
After the first quarter financial report, Saskatchewan is forecasting a $485.5 million surplus – a strong bottom line. The plan to retire up to $1 billion in operating debt announced at budget remains on track. Our province’s net-debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to be 13.4 per cent at the end of the fiscal year, which is currently ranked second among the provinces. Saskatchewan’s finances remain strong, with a substantial surplus, but we need to continue to be prudent and manage spending carefully.
Our strong economy allows us to invest in the programs and services that mean the most to Saskatchewan people. Some of these investments, like the Victoria Hospital and Rose Garden Hospice, are being made right here in Prince Albert.
The parking lot for the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital is coming along nicely. PCL Construction Management Inc is also working on the design for the new acute care tower. When completed, the number of beds at the Hospital will increase by 40 per cent, from 173 to 242. The project also includes a larger emergency department and enhanced medical imaging services, including an MRI. The new and improved Victoria Hospital will serve residents of Prince Albert and surrounding communities for years to come and I am so excited to see this project start to take shape.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Rose Garden Hospice was held on August 29, and the facility is now officially open. This facility will provide palliative care to residents and allow them to access these services in a comfortable, home-like setting here in Prince Albert.
Late last month, I was honoured to be named the Minister of SaskBuilds and Procurement by Premier Scott Moe. I look forward to serving the province and continuing to help encourage growth in my new role.
Representing the people of Prince Albert Carlton remains my top priority. As we move closer to the fall Legislative session, I would love to hear from you. Please reach out to my office at 306-922-2828 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or feel free to stop in our office, located at Bay 4, 406 South Industrial Drive.