Legislative Report

3 February 2016

Saskatchewan In A Strong Position to Manage Economic Challenges

In spite of a downturn in the resource sector, a resilient and diversified Saskatchewan economy continues to attract people, investment and job growth. This is a big change from a decade ago when an economic slowdown would have resulted in less investment, fewer jobs and a declining population.

The impact of lower oil prices and a softening resource sector globally has resulted in Saskatchewan dealing with serious revenue shortfalls. Government Ministries and Crowns have been controlling spending but with little room left to reduce costs there are two choices: raise taxes or run a temporary deficit.

Our government has reluctantly decided to manage this shortfall in revenue by running a deficit this fiscal year. Because of continued weakness in the resource sector, we expect there will be a deficit next year as well. Saskatchewan people can be assured we are focused on meeting their needs and investing in what is important as we work toward returning to balance by 2017-18.

Financial responsibility is the cornerstone of the Growth Plan. Our government plans to continue controlling spending, planning for the future, and moving forward, never losing sight of Saskatchewan’s destiny. The principles and goals of our Growth Plan will continue to guide us:

  • Supporting innovation;
  • Investing in infrastructure;
  • Engaging with the world;
  • Expanding educational and training opportunities; and
  • Ensuring our economy is competitive.

Saskatchewan people are pragmatic and prudent with their own finances and should expect the same from their government. Our record since 2007 reflects this prudence; we've lowered the province's debt to GDP ratio to the second lowest in Canada; we've earned Saskatchewan's first ever triple-A credit rating; and we've lowered the tax burden for people across the province.

New Rules Keep Consumers Informed

Consumers now have stronger protections when buying a vehicle in Saskatchewan. Licensed dealers have new advertising requirements and vehicle history disclosure rules, as well as new minimum warranty requirements on the sale of used vehicles.

Consumer complaints about extra fees and charges above and beyond the advertised price have led to these new rules. Licensed dealers must include accurate pricing in their advertising. If a dealer advertises a vehicle for a specific price in an ad, that price must include any fees and levies up front (not including taxes), this is called “The Drive Away Price.”

Licensed dealers are required to tell consumers important information that might affect their decision to buy. Some of these disclosure requirements include, but are not limited to: providing a SGI VIN search, disclosing if a vehicle had its odometer rolled back, if it was a rental, and if the vehicle is new and was damaged in transit totalling more than 20 per cent of its value.

These new protections do not apply to private sales.

Saskatchewan Parks Announce 2016 Campsite Reservation Launch Dates

Summer is park season in Saskatchewan and soon you will be able to book campsites in provincial parks. The campsite reservation launch, which typically happens in March, has been moved to Monday, April 11th to avoid overlap with the upcoming provincial election.

As in 2015, the launch will be staggered over a 10-day period, with different parks becoming available for reservations on different days. The schedule for reservation launch is as follows:

  • Monday, April 11: Blackstrap, Pike Lake
  • Tuesday, April 12: Buffalo Pound, Danielson, Douglas
  • Wednesday, April 13: Echo Valley, Rowan’s Ravine
  • Thursday, April 14: Duck Mountain, Good Spirit Lake, Greenwater Lake
  • Friday, April 15: Crooked Lake, Moose Mountain
  • Saturday, April 16: Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
  • Sunday, April 17: The Battlefords, Saskatchewan Landing
  • Monday, April 18: Meadow Lake
  • Tuesday, April 19: Bronson Forest Recreation Site, Chitek Lake Recreation Site, Lac La Ronge, Makwa Lake
  • Wednesday, April 20: Candle Lake, Great Blue Heron, Narrow Hills

Due to the impact from the fires in the summer of 2015, two campgrounds at Lac La Ronge Provincial Park will not open for reservations in April. You can learn more about the 2016 camping season at Saskatchewan provincial parks online.

If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Ken.

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