Released on March 16, 2023
Today, the Government of Saskatchewan passed The Saskatchewan First Act, which defends the province’s economic autonomy and potential from federal overreach.
The Saskatchewan First Act amends the Constitution of Saskatchewan to clearly confirm Saskatchewan's autonomy and assert Saskatchewan's exclusive legislative jurisdiction under Section 92 (A) of the Constitution of Canada over a number of areas, including:
- the exploration for non-renewable natural resources;
- the development, conservation and management of non-renewable natural and forestry resources; and
- the operation of sites and facilities for the generation and production of electrical energy.
The Act will also create an independent Economic Impact Assessment Tribunal that will define, quantify, and report on the economic effects of federal initiatives on provincial investments and Saskatchewan projects, businesses and people.
"This Act protects our province from constitutional overreach by the federal government," Justice Minister and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre said. "We will always stand up for Saskatchewan people against policies that hurt our economic potential and growth."
Following discussions with First Nations and Métis people and organizations, amendments were introduced by Athabasca MLA Jim Lemaigre to specifically state that nothing in the Act abrogates or derogate from Aboriginal and Treaty rights.
“Treaty rights are already enshrined and protected in all provincial legislation, as well as Section 35 of the federal Constitution Act,1982,” Eyre said. “However, I welcome the amendments from the Member from Athabasca which provide even further clarity and certainty about our government’s respect for treaty rights.”
For more information, contact:Ariane Whiting
Justice and Attorney General