Premier Brad Wall promises 'transformational' change in health, education
Government's priorities outlined in its throne speech opening the session
If you liked the Saskatchewan Party's recent election platform, you will enjoy its throne speech — which reiterates in large part the campaign promises of Premier Brad Wall's governing party.
Wall says it is one of his government's shortest throne speeches, because his party made few promises during the campaign.
"We're going to be talking very specifically, though, about the promises we did make in the campaign and about keeping those promises," Wall said.
From selling 40 government-owned liquor stores to introducing a new tax incentive for commercializing patents and intellectual property, the speech — like the party's platform — has the same message of keeping the province strong.
The throne speech, read in the assembly by the province's lieutenant-governor, reiterates the government's election promise to spend $70 million more over the next three years to fix the province's highways, as well as continuing with its use of public-private partnerships, or P3s, to build schools, hospitals and the Regina bypass.
Budget will bring change
Wall said again that the upcoming budget, expected on or about June 1, would be the beginning of "transformational change" when it comes to health and education.
"Do we have the right number of health regions? Do we have the right governance ratio even in education?" Wall said everything should be on the table, including one single health region as exists in Alberta.
Wall said the government will continue to ask the question: "What other innovations are possible in health care and education?"
Not surprisingly, the opposition NDP does not like the throne speech any better than it liked the Saskatchewan Party's election platform.
"I think [it] represents small thinking at a time where we should be working to build a bright future for Saskatchewan people," he said.
"This government shines a little light on the new dome but no light on the state of our finances?" Wotherspoon asked. "No light on a budget and what that means for classrooms right across Saskatchewan?"