Sask. throne speech draws mixed reactions

·2 min read
The fall sitting of Saskatchewan's legislature began Wednesday with the throne speech. (Alexander Quon/CBC - image credit)
The fall sitting of Saskatchewan's legislature began Wednesday with the throne speech. (Alexander Quon/CBC - image credit)

Reactions to Wednesday's throne speech continue are coming in from around Saskatchewan.

Lt-Gov. Russell Mirasty gave the speech, which outlined the government's intentions for the next few months.

It featured plans for an expansion of policing teams to deal with drug and weapons trafficking, and new supports for addictins, but no new initiatives for handling the fourth wave of COVID-19.

The pandemic is not the only area some felt the government ignored.

Peter Gilmer with the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry said little time was spent on issues related to social services.

"We're very disturbed, frankly, that there wasn't any action in terms of quite moving in, reforming the income assistance as it now stands and moving to deal with the issue of homelessness and the issue of creation of more social and affordable housing," he said.

Opposition Leader Ryan Meili said the throne speech did not reflect the realities facing families or businesses affected by COVID-19. However, he said he was pleased to hear that a bill will be introduced to prevent protests within 50 metres of health-care facilities.

Jason Abeig, the CEO of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, said the government did a good job of responding to major issues with the speech.

"Financial, security and economic opportunities, those all have a huge impact on the physical and mental health of people. And so overall, I think the government has done its best to balance that coin on its side, protecting both lives and livelihoods at the same time," he said.

The throne speech also included a new initiative to create 150 more addictions spaces over the next three years.

Premier Scott Moe said Wednesday that while the pandemic is an important issue, the government is also focused on other things, including growing the economy.

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