Saskatchewan Legislature spring session starts Monday

The last session before the provincial election is set to begin on Monday with the Saskatchewan Party and the NDP opposition eyeing different priorities.

The 10-week legislative sitting will be highlighted by the budget which will be released on March 18.

During a Friday visit to Estevan, Premier Scott Moe hinted that the balanced budget will put infrastructure first.

“You are going to see one of the largest investments in not only infrastructure in this province, one of the largest investments in the history of this province — but you’re going to see further initiatives to encourage that pipeline infrastructure to come into this province,” Moe said.

As for the Saskatchewan NDP, opposition leader Ryan Meili says their focus will be around education, raising the minimum wage, and healthcare — including added support for mental health and substance abuse.

“We want regular people to have enough to have a good life,” Meili said.

Snap election hasn’t been ruled out by the premier

Although the next provincial election is set for October, Moe is not committed to a fixed fall election.

When broached on the topic, Moe told reporters in Estevan on Friday that he has the right to call an early vote.

“We continue to plan for Oct. 26. But as I said, the premier has the prerogative to go early. And I’m going to reserve that opportunity,” Moe said.

Meili said his party would be ready if Moe were to call a snap election despite having just 31 confirmed candidates.

“We’ll be ready to go and have a full slate,” Meili said. “The Sask Party was able to nominate more quickly because they have a lot of incumbents.”

Meili added that calling a snap election would not reflect well on Moe.

“If he chose to do this, it’s not because it’s good for the Saskatchewan people. It’s because it’s good for Scott Moe,” Meili said.

Supreme Court decision on carbon tax looming

In the midst of the spring session, the Supreme Court of Canada will be hearing Saskatchewan’s argument against the federally imposed carbon tax.

The case will be before the court on March 24, less than a week after the provincial budget is presented.

In light of the recent carbon tax decision made by the Albert Court of Appeal, Moe said he is feeling positive about Saskatchewan’s case.

“We’re very confident heading into the Supreme Court and we ask the Trudeau government pull the carbon tax off of Canadians here and reengage with Canadians in a much more collaborative matter.”

The fourth session of the 28th legislature resumes Monday at 1:30 p.m.

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