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Spring Sitting of Legislature Highlights Saskatchewan's Focus on Classrooms, Care and Communities

Released on May 16, 2024

As the Spring sitting of the Legislature concludes today, Premier Scott Moe took time to highlight the significant investments made in education, health care and municipalities in the 2024-25 Budget, which contains the largest ever increases to school operating funding, health funding and municipal revenue sharing. 

"Saskatchewan continues to see incredible growth in our communities and our economy, and we are ready to meet the challenges of that growth head-on with significant investments into classrooms, care and our communities," Moe said. "Benefitting from one of the nation's lowest costing utility bundles, over thirteen thousand great job opportunities, and a strong and growing economy, people are seeing Saskatchewan for its true value as a great place to live, work and raise a family." 

In addition to these record investments, the budget is delivering more than $2.0 billion in affordability measures, as well as the removal of the federal carbon tax on home heating. Saskatchewan continues to maintain among the lowest personal taxes in the country. Since 2007, Personal Income Tax exemptions have removed more than 112,000 residents from the income tax role. Exemptions provide Saskatchewan people with over $830.0 million in annual income tax savings.

Investing in Education 

This year, school divisions are receiving a record increase of $180.0 million, or 8.8 per cent, in school operating funding, for a total of $2.2 billion. This record funding is aimed at addressing the challenges of growth and providing additional classroom supports.

As part of the Government of Saskatchewan's commitment to improving teacher working conditions in classrooms across the province, the Teacher Innovation and Support Fund was introduced to support initiatives submitted by teachers to improve student learning and retention. Over 40 approved projects have been granted over $1.5 million in funding to date. 

The budget also invests $216.0 million for Prekindergarten to Grade 12 education capital projects, an increase of 41.8 per cent over last year. This includes ongoing funding for planning nine new schools and two renovations. It also includes funding for 14 school builds and three major renovations currently underway across Saskatchewan, including Ducharme Elementary School in La Loche, the Lanigan elementary and high school consolidation, the new joint-use school in Moose Jaw, the new joint-use and francophone elementary schools in Regina, and St. Frances Cree immersion school in Saskatoon. Also included is $28.5 million for relocatable classrooms.

"Our government acknowledges that there are challenges in our classrooms, but we are committed to addressing those challenges with the largest-ever investment into public education in Saskatchewan's history," Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill said. "We are proud to invest over $2.2 billion in school operating funding and to offer long-term predictability for school divisions with the multi-year funding agreement signed earlier this year. I look forward to further engaging with teachers, divisions and parents to understand their needs and how our government can work to meet them."

Education highlights this session also include: 

  • Signing a multi-year funding agreement with the Sask School Boards Association to ensure long-term and sustainable funding to support our classrooms; 
  • Opening registration for online learning at the Saskatchewan Distance Learning Centre; and 
  • Expanding the Mental Health Capacity Building Initiative to five more schools: Peacock Collegiate in Moose Jaw, Lloydminster Composite High School in Lloydminster, Carpenter High School in Meadow Lake, St. Alphonsus School in Yorkton and Balfour Collegiate in Regina.

Investing in Health Care 

This spring, the Government of Saskatchewan took significant steps to improve our health care system. Ongoing investments in health care recruitment and retention continue to reduce the number of people waiting for surgery, with a record 95,700 surgeries being performed in 2023-24. As well, financial assistance for travel will now be available to families who are referred out of province for medical care for a child.

Health care highlights this session include: 

  • Opening Saskatchewan's first portable pediatric MRI at Jim Pattison Children's Hospital;
  • The creation of a new system to improve EMS response times;
  • New initiatives to enhance the utilization of nurse practitioners and expand the scope of practice for pharmacists; and
  • $51.2 million to expand post-secondary health training seats, adding 66 new training seats across six programs and developing four new domestic training programs - Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, Physician Assistant and Respiratory Therapy.

Significant progress is also being made in building new health care infrastructure, with the recent groundbreaking and construction start on the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital Acute Care Tower project leading to an overall capacity of 242 inpatient beds, a 40 per cent increase, with room to expand up to an additional 40 beds in the future. Designs include a heliport on the roof, expanded emergency department spacing, larger operating and day surgery spaces, enhanced medical imaging with northern Saskatchewan's first MRI, lab services, mental health and intensive care units and pediatrics. Slated for completion in Spring 2028, this project was developed in collaboration with Prince Albert Grand Council in the design and dedication of First Nations and Métis cultural spaces. 

Two other capital projects are well underway, with the $22.4 million Regina General Hospital parkade development starting construction this spring. Up to 1,005 parkade stalls will be available for staff and patients, and it is targeted for completion later this year. The new $120 million Weyburn General Hospital is also progressing on schedule, recently passing the 30 per cent complete mark. This facility will feature 25 acute care beds and 10 inpatient mental health beds, emergency medical services, a heliport to facilitate patient transport, ambulatory care and additional space for social work and administrative supports. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2025.

Completion of the Regina Urgent Care Centre (UCC) was announced in early April, with staff recruitment underway along with installation and testing of equipment and furnishings over the past few weeks. The new UCC will function as an alternative to emergency departments for treatment of minor illnesses and injuries that require immediate attention. The Regina UCC is set to open later this summer.

"As part of this year's budget, we are committed to making the necessary investments in health care to ensure people get the services when and where they need them," Health Minister Everett Hindley said. "There are clear signs of the progress we are making - hiring more doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, improving access to women's health, over $516 million invested into health care capital facilities and equipment, and a record number of surgeries being performed two years in a row. Our government continues to work with front-line health care workers to find ways to stabilize and strengthen our health care services in all areas of Saskatchewan." 

Highlights from the 2024-25 Budget also include:

  • A record increase of $42.4 million, or 14.2 per cent, in municipal revenue sharing for a total of $340.2 million in unconditional support for municipalities; 
  • $741.0 million to improve over 1,100 kilometres (km) of highways, for a total of nearly 6,000km improved since 2019; 
  • $17.0 million investment to deliver the first full year of the Saskatchewan Employment Incentive Program to make life more affordable for working families with lower incomes;
  • $793 million in funding for post-secondary education, up 3.7 per cent, to ensure students have the resources and opportunities available to succeed in Saskatchewan; 
  • $83.4 million for the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation to repair and maintain provincially owned housing units; and
  • $7.0 million for the Saskatchewan Marshals Service to begin operations. 

Building a Strong Economy

Earlier this spring, Premier Moe joined Minister of Immigration and Career Training Jeremy Harrison to announce Building the Workforce for a Growing Economy: the Saskatchewan Labour Market Strategy, a roadmap to build the workforce needed to support Saskatchewan's strong and growing economy. With a focus on preparing and training Saskatchewan people for jobs and recognizing skills tied to out-of-province and country recruitment, the strategy highlights how the province is addressing emerging labour needs in various growing sectors such as energy, mining and minerals, manufacturing, agriculture and technology. When paired with Securing the Next Decade of Growth: Saskatchewan's Investment Attraction Strategy, and the province's Growth Plan goal to increase private capital investments in the province to $16 billion annually, Saskatchewan affirms its competitive business environment with low tax and utility rates, a transparent and predictable regulatory environment, a strong suite of incentives and a network of nine international offices that connect Saskatchewan to the world. 

"Saskatchewan has a great story to tell, and we are continuing to share that story around the world," Moe said. "We are an export-based economy featuring a competitive business environment that enables large private investments and strong economic growth. These successes are what allow us to make the necessary investments in the services people need, ensuring a bright future for all Saskatchewan residents."

Saskatchewan continues to make significant moves in the nuclear energy space, with record uranium exports of almost $1 billion in 2023, an increase of 306 per cent to European customers alone. In 2022 and 2023 combined, total exports of uranium globally increased by 1,525.3 per cent when compared to 2020 and 2021 combined. As the province moves into nuclear development, SaskPower and the Saskatchewan Research Council have recently joined the CANDU Owners Group, gaining access to research and peer groups focused on environmental and regulatory affairs, nuclear safety, used fuel management and emergency planning. Earlier this month, Premier Moe also announced the location of a potential SMR development near Estevan, leveraging the existing workforce into the transition from coal-fired power generation to clean, reliable, baseload nuclear power generation.  

This session also saw a motion receive unanimous support in the legislature calling on the federal government to "devolve" or pass on responsibility for all parts of The Firearms Act to the province so it can administer and regulate gun possession itself.


For more information, contact:

Julie Leggott
Executive Council and Office of the Premier
Phone: 306-787-9619

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