Sask. throne speech calls for orange zone speeding fines to triple
Attention being paid to the orange zones in a bid to protect construction workers is the only thing new in the throne speech from the Saskatchewan government, which kicks off the fall legislative session.
The change is a response to what Premier Brad Wall says he heard after the death of a young pregnant flag person on Saskatchewan's roads in August.
Fines will now triple and photo radars will be used in construction areas to ensure speeders get caught. The base fine will jump to $300. Every kilometre over the speed limit will add $2. So a person going 80 km/hr in a 60 km/hr zone will be fined $340.
"We need people to know, in the orange zone, even if you don't see a police car around, if you are speeding, you will get caught," Wall told reporters Thursday in the Legislature.
In a pre-session scrum with reporters Wednesday, the premier stated it would offer little new -- and he was right.
The 18-page document is almost a re-telling of the growth plan announced by Brad Wall last week. Some of the specific measures are those already announced.
SaskBuilds will be created with a start fund of $150 million to specifically address infrastructure financing, designs and builds. To address the ongoing housing shortage across the province 12,600 units will be added by 2016. Apprenticeship spaces will be added to technical schools to increase the much needed skilled labourers working here. Business taxes will be reduced from twelve to 10 per cent to match B.C. and Alberta.
Provincial assessment will be added in the K-12 school system to ensure all students achieve set-out targets.
Healthcare also gets a focus and an idea introduced that was first heard from a locum over the summer.
Doctors, nurses and nurses practitioners who practice in rural and remote areas will see part of their student loan forgiven. That may be expanded to include those that cover relief work.
The Ministry of Justice will now oversee the seizure of criminal property, taking it out of the hands of police.
The Throne Speech also adds the Saskatchewan Employment Act, a new umbrella piece of legislation that the government claims will modernize current labour laws.
Those are all initiatives the NDP has heard before.
While praising the changes to orange zone penalties, opposition leader John Nilson claims Saskatchewan people still don't know just how the government intends to achieve its growth plan.
"It doesn't improve upon what we heard last week," he told reporters Wednesday moments after the premier spoke.
"People are left wondering what it is we are going to do to accomplish some of the things that we need here in Saskatchewan."
Nilson questions the respect the Saskatchewan Party is giving to the democratic. The NDP didn't like that the government announced its legislative growth agenda to a $100-a-plate luncheon rather than in the legislature.
The fall session of the legislature will last for several weeks.
Edited by CJME's Karen Brownlee.