November 27, 2014
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Legislative Report

19 November 2014

Post-Secondary Education Improvements, Main Street Saskatchewan, Highway Hotline

From Pre-K to post-secondary, our government is committed to supporting families in planning every stage of their child’s education. The Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings, The Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship and The Graduate Retention Program are among the many ways we are working to make post-secondary education accessible and affordable.

To make life easier for those pursuing post-secondary, we have streamlined administration of the student loans program. The One-time Signature for Student Loan Consents and Canada Revenue Agency Release replaces the requirement for students to sign designated consents, authorizations and agreement forms when applying for financial assistance each year. This includes one-time signatures for parents/guardians/sponsors/spouses using designated forms, unless there is a break in student financial assistance for a period of two or more years.

Other improvements include reducing interest rates to prime from prime plus 2.5 per cent, no longer counting vehicles as a resource when determining loan eligibility and no longer considering part-time employment income while in school. This streamlined process will save time, reduce paper transactions and administration and improve student service and access.

The strength of Saskatchewan comes from the strength of our people, the ones who are working hard and investing in their communities. Saskatchewan’s small towns and cities are key contributors to our strong economy and that’s why our government is supporting them in a variety of ways, including the expansion of the popular Main Street Saskatchewan program.

Through a combination of government and private investments, this is a community-driven approach to revitalizing historic downtown and commercial areas in support of tourism, cultural and economic development. Through integrated and coordinated community organization, economic restructuring, heritage conservation and promotion, Main Street communities build pride, foster economic growth and improve quality of life.

Since its launch in 2011, Main Street Saskatchewan has leveraged 10 dollars in private sector investment for every 1 dollar invested by government. In participating communities, it has also seen the creation of 66 new jobs, the opening of 22 new businesses, $4.9 million committed to historic building and streetscape improvements as well as $6.5 million in property acquisitions.

Saskatchewan’s historic areas enrich the lives of locals and visitors alike, and participation in the Main Street Saskatchewan program is a great way to ensure that these areas are utilized to their full potential.

Planning and preparation is key when it comes to fixing Saskatchewan’s 26,000 kilometres of highways. After a construction season that saw improvements to 837 kilometres of provincial roads, we are already looking ahead to next year. On September 29, we put out our fall tender plan which includes more than $200 million worth of highway projects. This builds on the $4.3 billion in transportation infrastructure investments since 2008.

As many of us adjust to winter driving conditions, a series of improvements are being made to The Highway Hotline. The service, which receives approximately 4 million inquiries per year, features an updated mobile website with interactive maps as well as access to live snapshots of conditions along Saskatchewan’s most frequently travelled highways.

As always, the latest updates can be found at saskatchewan.ca/highwayhotline. Recorded reports are also accessible toll-free at 1-888-335-7623. Road closures and travel not recommended alerts are available on Twitter @SKGoHwyHotline and general tips can be found at facebook.com/SaskatchewanHighwayHotline.

If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Nancy.

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