REGINA – The 61 members that make up Saskatchewan’s 28th Legislative Assembly have officially been sworn in, and now it’s time to get to work.
Both parties are remaining fairly tight-lipped about their specific plans for the start of the session on Tuesday, but revealed some over-arching themes.
The governing Sask Party plans on introducing 25 to 30 bills, several budget related in this spring/summer session.
With a $428 million dollar deficit expect some belt tightening.
“We’ll watch our spending as close as we can,” Deputy Premier Don McMorris said.
“There will be more of the same in that. Looking for efficiencies whether it’s in healthcare or education, or any delivery of government services. That will be part in parcel with the government’s position moving forward.”
In addition to budget legislation McMorris says to watch out for bills related to election promises, like the sale of 40 public owned liquor stores.
Across the aisle, the opposition NDP say “stay tuned” for more plans, but were not shy about criticizing things they see as shortfalls in healthcare and education.
“We have kids in classrooms all across this province under great strain, teacher’s without the resources that they need. Student’s lacking the one-on-one supports that they need,” NDP Leader Trent Wotherspoon said.
The MLA’s will select a new Speaker of the Assembly Tuesday morning, and in the afternoon the government will fully outline their goals in the Throne Speech.
Both the Saskatchewan Party and NDP are bringing firsts to the legislature this go around.
The NDP’s caucus is the first in provincial history to have gender parity with five men and five women.
Wotherspoon calls it something the whole province can be proud of.
Regina Pasqua Saskatchewan Party MLA Muhammad Fiaz became the first Muslim to be sworn in as an MLA in the province.
“It’s a great honour,” Fiaz said.
“I’m the first Muslim, but I’m responsible for Regina Pasqua so I’m going to do my best to represent all 23,000 of them, from all the communities as well.”
With files from