It was a session of firsts, as Scott Moe led his party as premier for the first time while opposition leader Ryan Meili did the same for the NDP as Thursday marked the end of the 2018 spring session of the legislature.
“The chairs have moved around a little bit in the room but the same team that supported Premier Wall is still in the room, for the most part,” said Moe. “The faces are very, very similar and although the chairs have moved around, most notably my chair, the same team making the decisions under Premier Wall are essentially making the decisions in our caucus and cabinet rooms today.”
Moe said nearly 60 bills were passed since the session began March 12. The premier noted how the party under his leadership tried to put its stamp on the budget, which included $30 million into education and directly into classrooms.
The budget also included some tinkering to the provincial sales tax — specifically removing the PST from health and insurance premiums.
Moe was asked whether the role was what he thought it would be.
“There are surprises, I think from time to time, positive and negative in the role,” he admitted.
Meanwhile, Meili thought he brought a more respectful tone to his side of the floor, which he said he heard from the speaker.
“I’ve really tried hard to work with my team and work from my own point of view on making sure that we stay respectful, we keep it about the issues and we keep bringing it back to what are the choices that will really make a difference in improving the health and lives of Saskatchewan people,” said Meili.
It wasn’t necessarily what was passed that stood out for Meili, but instead what was repealed. The government backtracked on Bill 40, which would have allowed the sale of up to 49 per cent of a crown corporation in Saskatchewan.
“Which was very much thanks to the pressure of this team and the folks around the province who really saw that as the wrong choice,” Meili said of the NDP.
On education, he said the $30 million was only partial return of the support. As well, he said it isn’t very wise that Saskatchewan has the lowest minimum wage in the country.