Legislative Report
(30 January 2020)

Reducing Red Tape

Saskatchewan is an entrepreneurial province in which we want people to be able to start and grow their businesses. Reducing red tape and regulatory burden is imperative because we know that when small businesses grow, Saskatchewan grows.

Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan for The Next Decade recognizes that competitiveness is crucial to economic growth. On the issue of taxes, regulations and government spending, our objective is to ensure Saskatchewan remains competitive.

We know that red tape can stand in the way of the growth of businesses and communities. Our government’s “Help Cut Red Tape” web portal helps residents fast-track their concerns on regulations. Our work on this initiative was recently recognized and celebrated by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

Saskatchewan received the CFIB’s highest ranking in their national Red Tape Report Card for its efforts to reduce red tape and modernize regulations. We will continue to identify and cut red tape with additional actions in our Growth Plan, which include:

  • appointing a business advisory panel from communities across the province to identify priorities for the Government of Saskatchewan’s Red Tape Reduction Committee;
  • keeping the province’s finances strong and investing in priorities such as infrastructure and health care, which are areas of concern for small businesses; and
  • utilizing the Government of Saskatchewan’s Direct Cost Estimator to make informed decisions.

This past year, Saskatchewan saw an increase of 10,400 jobs, or 1.8 per cent, from 2018. More than half of that job growth is due to full-time jobs. In spite of some external headwinds, the creation of 10,400 jobs last year is an indication that Saskatchewan has a robust, diverse and growing economy and is on track for continued growth.

Complete with action items and ambitious goals for the future, Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan for The Next Decade is a roadmap to get us there.

Making Saskatchewan Roads Safer

There was a time not long ago when Saskatchewan had the highest number of road fatalities in Canada. In 2019, fewer people were killed on Saskatchewan roads than in any single year since records started being kept in the 1950s.

Our government has taken stricter enforcement measures, introduced targeted legislation and run powerful awareness campaigns – all to reduce road fatalities – because collisions are preventable and even one traffic death is too many.

Thank you to all Saskatchewan residents for working to make our roads safer.

Distracted driving is one of the leading factors in collisions and injuries from automobile crashes in Saskatchewan. In an effort to reduce the number of people driving while distracted, harsher penalties are now being introduced.

Effective February 1, 2020, the cost of a distracted driving ticket for a first offence will more than double, from $280 to $580, plus four demerits.

A second offence, within a year of being convicted of the first, is a $1,400 ticket, plus an additional four demerits, plus an immediate, seven-day vehicle seizure. This penalty does not include the costs associated with towing and impound fees.

A third offence within a year of conviction of the first is a $2,100 ticket, plus four more demerits and another seven-day vehicle seizure.

It is against the law in Saskatchewan to hold, view, use or manipulate electronic communication equipment while driving a motor vehicle, and if you are caught, you will get a ticket under distracted driving legislation.

It’s important to know that an experienced driver can use a hands-free device if it can be activated with voice commands or one-touch, and is mounted on the dashboard or visor in a cradle. But if you’re a new driver in the Graduated Driver Licensing program, even hands-free devices are not acceptable and are illegal to use.

Other forms of distracted driving like eating, using GPS, reading, personal grooming or interacting with pets or passengers are covered under driving without due care and attention legislation. These activities are not considered against the law and won’t automatically result in a ticket. But, if your behaviour poses a risk to road safety, you may be ticketed by police for driving without due care and attention.

To learn more visit sgi.sk.ca.

If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Ken.

Past Legislative Reports