(6 October 2010)
More Assistance for Flood Victims
With winter just around the corner, our government is accelerating claim payments to residents whose furnaces and water heaters were damaged by this year’s flooding. Families and businesses in Maple Creek, which was one of the hardest hit communities, will be first to receive payments through the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP). Our goal is to have these cheques delivered to everyone who qualifies in Maple Creek within the next week or so.
Our government will also be reviewing furnace and water heater claim files from other communities hit by summer storms. In addition, we capped the amount of depreciation on furnaces at 35 per cent – an improvement from 60 per cent under former NDP government. Residents looking for replacements under PDAP are asked to contact program representatives with their PDAP claim number as soon as possible. This summer, Saskatchewan faced unprecedented flooding and our government acted immediately to get emergency relief dollars to those families and communities affected. We also made, and continue to make, changes to PDAP so that we can better serve the people of Saskatchewan.
Protecting the Health of our Children
Our government is also taking steps to protect the health of some of the most vulernable members of society: our children. As we continue to tighten tobacco control laws, it is now illegal to smoke in vehicles when a child under the age of 16 is present. Plus, lighting up in enclosed common areas of multi-unit buildings is now prohibited, as well as smoking within three metres of doorways, windows and air intakes of public buildings such as shopping centres, restaurants, bars, recreational facilities and office buildings. Other provisions now in effect include prohibiting the sale of little cigars in packages of less than 20, a ban on all outdoor signs that advertise tobacco products, and increased restrictions on the use of indoor signs promoting tobacco.
Potash Belongs to the People
Potash belongs to the people of Saskatchewan. In the days ahead, our government will carefully examine the just-released Conference Board of Canada report on the hostile takeover bid for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS). The report found that BHP Billiton's proposed takeover of PotashCorp could reduce provincial revenues by at least $2 billion over the next 10 years, while having little or no net effect on employment in the industry. It also highlights a potentially positive impact from having some PotashCorp head office jobs move back to Saskatchewan from Chicago. Our government will use the report to help us determine whether an ownership change for PCS would result in a ‘net benefit’ to our people, our province and our country.
I hope the good weather continues and the farmers are finally able to get their crops in the bin. Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Dan.
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