Scott Moe reflects on a challenging year in Saskatchewan

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Scott Moe looks back on a year full of challenges in Saskatchewan

In an end-of-year interview, Scott Moe discusses relations between Ottawa and Saskatchewan.

In an end-of-year interview, Scott Moe discusses the financial situation of Saskatchewan, as well as the province's relationship with Ottawa and First Nations.

The generosity of Saskatchewanians who welcomed Ukrainian refugees has marked the Premier.

< p class="e-p">I think what I'm most proud of over the past year is what the people of Saskatchewan have done to support our friends and family in another country in a time of distress,” he said. -il.

When 2022 began, the COVID-19 pandemic was still in full swing, Moe recalls.

Now that the year is very late, we are in a much stronger position if you look at the investments that have landed here and the financial situation of the province, says Mr. Moe.

He notes that the province has been able to begin paying off the pandemic debt accumulated in recent years.

Scott Moe advocates sending $500 checks to all adults in the province. He notes that the government found itself in surplus, that it wanted to pay down its debt and then increase funding for homelessness-related initiatives in urban centers.

We wanted to help families across the province with the rising cost of living and we wanted to do it quickly and as simply as possible,” he said. Other approaches would have been slower and would have helped fewer families, he argues.

To critics who believe the province's money would be put to better use by the health care system health care, Scott Moe responds that the province has invested $60 million to hire more health care workers.

There's more to be done, obviously, but it's not a problem unique to Saskatchewan, he points out. It is for this reason that the premiers have asked the Prime Minister and the federal government to become full partners in the Canada Health Transfer.

S' he wants more money from Ottawa, Scott Moe believes that these funds should be unconditional. The challenge with conditions is that needs have regional differences, he argues.

In addition, Saskatchewan's and Ottawa's priorities are the same: reducing wait times for surgeries, additional investments in mental health and addictions, and adequate support for health care workers. .

When it comes to priorities, we align very well with those of the federal government, says Mr. Moe.

The Saskatchewan government is out of step with Ottawa when it comes to environmental policy. This fall, Mr. Moe's government introduced the “Saskatchewan First Act”, a bill affirming provincial jurisdiction over the province's natural resources.

The federal government is wielding this sword of environmental policy and [this bill] is a shield, really, that defends the Constitution of Canada, provincial jurisdictions and our ability to develop our natural resources which ultimately are the source of our wealth in Saskatchewan, says Scott Moe.

He says the bill will ensure Saskatchewan's economic success for decades to come.

< p class="e-p">The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan have strongly criticized this bill. Scott Moe repeats that the bill does not change anything for Aboriginal people.

We have a good track record when it comes to economic reconciliation and the inclusion of everyone, including Indigenous people, in our economy. Well, there's more work to do on that front, but we also need to highlight what we've accomplished, says Moe.

According to Scott Moe, the most most important part of the province's response to the Cree Nation shooting of James Smith is expanding the police force.

We talked about increasing community policing in Indigenous communities, increasing support for our municipal RCMP officers through the Saskatchewan Marshal Service, and responding to the challenge of crime. against property caused by drugs, he says.

This is a challenge, not only in aboriginal communities, not only in rural communities, but it's a challenge across our province and, in many cases, across our country, Scott Moe continues.

He notes that the province must also support the people who decide [ to leave a lifestyle of drug addiction] and seek a path to a better life.

We need to have services for them, we need to have a rehab bed available , says Scott Moe, highlighting his government's commitment to add 150 intensive rehabilitation beds.

< em>With information from Adam Hunter

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