Yorkton-Melville MLA Warren Kaeding says there are several important issues that will dominate the spring sitting of Saskatchewan’s legislature.Ryan Kiedrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

On the first day of the start to the spring Legislative session, teachers from across the province greeted politicians at the Legislative Building, carrying signs that relayed their sentiments.

“Certainly the big thing that’s on everybody’s mind—and we had a very large group here yesterday was the STF issue,” says Melville-Saltcoats MLA Warren Kaeding.

“We’re certainly focusing on trying to get the union back to the negotiating table. We’re willing to provide them a lot of things, just not into the collective bargaining agreement. We recognize some of the issues and concerns and want to support them in those areas, just unwilling to put it in the CBA. So, we are really working hard to try and encourage the union to get back to the table.”

Kaeding spoke of the province having “made a lot of concessions on some of the other asks that they had, so it’s just a willingness on their part to look beyond that collective bargaining agreement.”

“We’ve got to do what’s best for the kids to make sure that they get that quality education,” he says.

Kaeding also talked about economic growth in the area, using the availability of housing in the region to illustrate his point.

“In East Central Saskatchewan right now, house sales are doing well,” he says. “The inventory is actually quite low, and it’s people coming in from outside the area and those that left the area and are coming back again, just because we have so many opportunities here,” he said.

Kaeding also views health as another huge issue going into the spring session, referencing recent announcements such as pharmacists being able to prescribe for more health conditions.

“We are expanding the scope of practice to a lot of other health professionals, which should help ease the burden on our general practitioners, and allow them to deal with the major issues,” said Kaeding. “It’s to make sure that we provide the services that people expect in rural Saskatchewan. We certainly saw a bit of a change in the doctor’s contracts and how doctors are going to be able to provide service.”

The carbon tax is still a hot-button topic, with everyone waiting to see what the federal government will do in response to the province cutting the tax on home heating.

“Ultimately, all the feds can do is reduce the carbon tax payment coming back to our residents, subtracting what may have been submitted through the energy side of things,” Kaeding said. “So our residents are still going to get a carbon tax cheque, it’s not going to be as big as what they maybe got last quarter when we were still paying the energy carbon tax. It’s a fairness issue, because that’s exactly what they’re doing in Atlantic Canada as well. They’re not paying carbon tax on energy, so their cheques are getting reduced as well. That’s what we’re understanding.”

Kaeding also explained how similar taxes imposed in other countries just didn’t work.

“There are far better ways than a carbon tax,” he said. “It’s surprising how many different countries have tried it and ultimately have just backed away and said, ‘yeah, that didn’t work out too well, how about let’s support innovation to reduce emissions’. ”

By Ryan Kiedrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 17, 2024 at 17:44

This item reprinted with permission from   Moosomin World-Spectator   Moosomin, Saskatchewant

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