The speech mentions key concerns for rural municipalities in Saskatchewan
Rural Saskatchewan residents heard some positive points mentioned in the Government of Saskatchewan’s Speech from the Throne.
The first session of the new Legislative Assembly in the province listened to Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty deliver the Throne Speech on Nov. 30.
“We heard a lot of positive things in the Throne Speech. We were pleased that there was mention of the continued fight against the federally imposed carbon tax, that's something that really is adversely affecting our members and the farming community as well. We're pleased that the province is going to keep that fight up,” said Ray Orb. He is the president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM).
The speech specifically mentioned the Prairie Resilience climate change plan.
“The federal carbon tax is not only unconstitutional; it is also ineffective. Saskatchewan has its own climate change plan – Prairie Resilience – that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring our sustainable industries can survive and thrive. We will continue to fight the federal carbon tax while implementing our own Prairie Resilience climate change plan,” said Mirasty in the speech.
The Throne Speech mentioned many good programs, but a few weren’t touched on that SARM staff hope to see worked on moving forward, said Orb.
“Although the province said they are committed to the farm support programs, we would like some adjustment to the AgriStability program in particular,” Orb told Farms.com.
The federal government recently put forward changes and the hope is the province holds up their end of the agreement, said Orb.
“If Saskatchewan doesn't put up their share, then our farmers won't be able to benefit from the changes that the feds are proposing. So, we've spoke to our provincial ag minister and said to him unfortunately, you're going to have to go to treasury at a bad time during COVID-19, but we need help for the farming community,” he said.
SARM staff also hope to work with this government to improve connectivity, something they worked on before the provincial election.
“We're starting to meet again and we're going to be meeting with Minister Morgan, who is in charge of SaskTel, within the next couple of weeks. We're going to talk to him about how we can help develop some partnerships with the province with the Internet service providers that are interested in coming into rural Saskatchewan and serving rural residents,” said Orb.