(31 Oct 2012)
Over the last five years, the number of people living in Saskatchewan has increased by 80,000 people. Almost half of those newcomers are immigrants. Since 2007, almost 39,000 people from 190 different countries have settled in over 320 communities across the province. In 2012-13, our government intends to nominate 4000 people under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP); including accompanying family member that number climbs to more than 12,000. By comparison, Saskatchewan attracted only 8,000 newcomers between 2001 and 2006.
Welcoming newcomers to the province is an important part of the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth. We estimate that to reach our goal of a population of 1.2 million by 2020, we will need 60,000 more skilled workers. To that end, our government is taking action to support newcomers. We have created a system of Regional Newcomer Gateways in eleven centres across Saskatchewan: Estevan, Humboldt, Lloydminster, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Regina, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Tisdale and Yorkton. Since 2010, we have invested more than 20.5 million in settlement and integration services and supports. As outlined in the Throne Speech, we will work with the federal government to increase the annual nominations under SINP from 4,000 to 6,000.
The Throne Speech also contained further details about our government’s commitment to improving safety in highway construction zones. Effective November 1st, the base fine for speeding in an Orange Zone increases to $210. There’s also a per kilometre cost: $3 a click between 60 and 90 km/h, doubling to $6 per kilometre if your speed is more than 90. So for example, going 70 through an Orange Zone would result in a $231 fine – at 100 km/h, the fine would be $370. Rumble strips and gates that narrow the approach to construction zones will also be used. Photo radar will be introduced in the 2013 construction season. This past summer, an 18 year old highways worker named Ashley Richards was killed by a driver who allegedly ignored signs in a construction zone. She was only 45 minutes into her first day on the job when it happened.
Flu clinics are resuming across the province following a temporary suspension due to concerns over this year’s vaccine. Health Canada tested the flu vaccine made by the drug company Novartis and has confirmed it is safe for use. The clinics were put on temporary hold after clumping of particles was observed in vaccine being used in Europe. The European batch was different from the one supplied by the drug company Novartis to Canada. Health regions are now rescheduling flu clinics – to determine which health region you are in, go to http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/public-health-offices. If you already received your flu shot, you do not need to get another one.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Ken.
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