(30 March 2012)
Keeping the Saskatchewan Advantage for Young People
Last week, just after the provincial budget was introduced, I talked in this space about how pleased I was that the Martensville High School expansion project will be going ahead. This is badly needed. Martensville is now the second fastest growing city in Canada and most of the phenomenal growth we have seen consists of young families. I was also pleased that the Warman Middle Years school project is ready to move into the next phase – construction will begin in the next few weeks. School infrastructure is without a doubt the #1 need in this constituency.
I would like to highlight some more important initiatives in our budget that will help Saskatchewan families.
- The new Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship will help EVERY new high school graduate with the cost of post-secondary education. This budget provides $4.6 million dollars to provide new high school graduates with up to $2,000 over four years to be applied toward tuition fees at any Saskatchewan post-secondary institution.
- Effective January 2013, we are introducing the Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings. This will match up to 10 per cent of the annual contribution to a child’s Registered Education Savings Plan account, up to $250 dollars per year per child. That’s on top of the 20 per cent matching grant already provided by the federal government.
- This budget adds almost $6.7 million dollars for a total of $36.5 million dollars for the Student Aid fund.
- The Active Families Tax Benefit was also expanded to include all children 17 and under beginning in 2012. This benefit provides a refundable tax credit of up to $150 dollars per child to help with the cost of positive activities such as the arts, music lessons and sports.
- $2.5 million increase to reduce costs for those with diabetes by adding two forms of long-acting insulin to the Drug Plan and expand the Children’s Insulin Pump Program from age 17 up to 25 years old.
- $1.0 million for enhancements to Autism Spectrum Disorder therapies.
- Immediately after last year’s fall election campaign, we kept our promise to extend the PST exemption on children’s clothing to age 17 and under.
Our government has a strong record of making life more affordable for Saskatchewan families and for students. More and more young people are choosing to stay and begin a career, start a family, and build a life in Saskatchewan. Keeping our young people here is a significant part of Keeping the Saskatchewan Advantage for it is these young people that will build the Saskatchewan of tomorrow.
Past MLA Reports