Chamber Group Health InsuranceMarch 1, 2023
Input Sask – We are a ChampionMarch 2, 2023
Chamber Chat November 12, 2021
Elmwood Golf Clubhouse 8:00am-9:00am
With MLA Everett Hindley to discuss key items from the October 27 Throne Speech
In attendance: Kara Thompson, Stacey Wiens, Karla Wiens, Brent White, Travis Cuthbert, David Keast, Blair Clark, Kimi Duzan, Everett Hindley, Nathan MacDonald, Chad MacLeod, Jackie Schlamp, Al Bridal, Ryan Switzer
Throne speech comes out to kick off the Legislature in the fall, sets the tone for Government work going forward. 25 page document available on the Government of Sask website.
Sitting until December 9/10 – much debate recently has been over COVID management.
- Sask Value-Added Agriculture incentive
- Indigenous Investment Finance Corporation
- Sustainable Sask brand – promote what it is that we grow and raise and do in this province. As the previous legislative secretary for Trade & Export Development, Everett had direct involvement in spearheading this initiative. This will promote us further internationally. Trade offices soon to be numbered at 6, for years we relied on the Feds to promote our “brand”.
Particularly focused on rural areas
Mental Health & Addictions
458 million investment to a number of initiatives, 150 new addictions spaces over the next 3 years
Independence of Sask
Fed equalization trigger changes, autonomous items such as collecting Corp. taxes and creation of provincial police force. Questions posed to Mr. Hindley:
- How is the Gov. of SK looking at streamlining approval processes? Red Tape reduction committee has a number of MLAs to review. Goal is to identify common themes for various organizations. We have lost major projects due to excessive reg’s, want to be able to compete. Website available: Red Tape Reduction. The competitive environment is increasing.
- Does the Fed Gov’t have a red tape reduction committee? Unsure, but they should.
- Trade & Export reps in various countries, is this a STEP initiative? No, they do many on their own. This is a direct Ministry of Trade & Export development initiative. Until recently only 1 trade office in Shanghai in 2009. Rep in China F/T, next year expanding to Japan, India and Singapore.
- What is the Gov of SK response to Liberal language re: GOP 2026. We have huge numbers of oil & gas workers and GDP generated here. Our standards in the energy industry for western Can are the best in the world. Gov of SK will continue to support our energy industry, which is becoming more difficult. As options continue to be limited (we do not have hydro here like Quebec) our best shot may be small modular reactors (SMR’s) along with some wind, solar. Aggressively pursuing more SMR options. Plans for re-skilling energy workers – funding set aside for transition training. Still many questions re: # of reactors, how to shift SK and that portion of the workforce?
- RCMP costs – huge increase coming. City of SC will have major cost increase coming, which will flow down to the taxpayer. What is the Gov of SK doing to alleviate? Budget wise how much will the backpay cost taxpayers? Going forward, in the past a provincial force did not make sense. Is it starting to now? Investigation is underway. This is still early on in the discussions, but it is definitely time to have them.
- Supply chains being broken, food costs increasing, inflation increasing…for next year is there a lot of lending on the horizon for the province? Mid-term financial report comes out mid- November. The Ag side is looking terrible. Overall, we are looking good compared to other provinces. Gov of SK wants to avoid debt as much as possible, and focus on improvement. Potash, oil prices are all looking positive and part of our growth plan is value added within Saskatchewan. Economically we are still in pretty good shape, and will watch spending.
- COVID reg’s – Why have some industries been singled out and not others? For example: restaurants mandated to provide proof of vaccination/negative test but not retail or others for entry? Recommendations from Chief Medical Officer – trying to balance recommendations with balance needed from general/business community. Basics of transmission – point back to highest spread is when gathering to eat/drink. No decisions are perfect, trying to find a balance 80% vaccination rate in SK now Numbers are not known at this point what % vax is needed to lift reg’s. Wind down plan? Don’t’ expect restrictions to lift over the winter. Plan will be put together. It will be determined by ICU beds. Pandemic to endemic transition– Gov is working on how to handle going forward. ICU beds under heavy scrutiny, how many more beds AND staff needed??
- Workforce – where do people get staff? Where are they? Collecting CERB? Some are CERB, some healthcare and other workers going b/c of Vax mandates, some are retiring and throwing hands in the air – not enough young people to fill the gap. Many took early retirement. How to increase number of training seats, however this is not an immediate solution. Recruiting missions considered to “import” trained workers to Saskatchewan.
- Mental Health/wellbeing – hugely important and many thanks to Gov of SK. Appreciation extended. This is tough for all – prevention is key and providing supports in a timely fashion. Record investments being made into mental health and addictions supports, more harm reduction initiatives, more treatment spaces, more programming aimed at early intervention to help