Final fall sitting begins for Premier Brad Wall
'This is not going to be a lame duck session of the House,' says outgoing leader
Saskatchewan's premier will have mixed emotions as he walks up the front steps of the legislative building to hear today's throne speech.
"It's bittersweet," Brad Wall told reporters about his last fall sitting of the Legislature, after a decade as premier and nearly two decades as the Saskatchewan Party MLA for Swift Current.
"Obviously you get to the point where you start to look forward to what's next but there is a lot of work to do. There really is," Wall said.
"This is not going to be a lame duck session of the House. You'll see. We have a very busy program."
Wall cited elements of the government's 2020 Plan for Growth, which still need to be implemented, as well as election promises to keep, including individualized money for children with autism and property tax deferrals for seniors with incomes below $70,000.
The provincial government must also be ready with legislation to deal with the federal government's plan to legalize marijuana by next summer.
Sask. NDP ready to raise concerns
The Opposition NDP will enter the assembly with one more MLA than it had in the spring sitting, after Vicki Mowat won a byelection in Saskatoon that was required after the resignation of former Sask. Party MLA Jennifer Campeau.
Interim leader Nicole Sarauer said she welcomes another voice to hold the government accountable for its tough spring budget.
"People are angry. People are frustrated with the government," she said.
"They're sick of the desperate sell-offs, the unfair tax hikes and the heartless cuts that are happening throughout the province," Sarauer said, referring to an expanded provincial sales tax, the shutdown of the government's bus company and chops to education.
The fall sitting wraps on Dec. 6, after which both parties will elect new leaders.
Members of the governing Sask. Party vote for their new leader, who will also become the province's next premier, in January.
The Opposition NDP elects a new leader in March — just days before the spring sitting is scheduled to begin on March 5, 2018.
- A previous version of this story had stated Vicki Mowat had won a byelection in Saskatoon after the death of a Sask. Party MLA. In fact, the byelection was required after the resignation of Jennifer Campeau.Oct 25, 2017 9:25 AM CT