At the end of 2018, 980 CJME news director Sarah Mills sat down with Premier Scott Moe for his annual year-end interview.
Newly-elected as leader at the start of 2018, Moe looked back on some of the surprises and challenges of his first year in office and talked about some of the issues the Saskatchewan Party government is expecting to tackle heading into 2019.
Sarah Mills: Do you think 2019 will be dominated by the arguments around carbon tax?
Premier Scott Moe: We intend on being successful in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal with respect to the reference case we have brought on carbon taxation and then we will see a federal election. That will essentially kick-off a federal election where we will see the incumbent federal Liberal government that quite likely will have to run a campaign on implementing a carbon tax on Canadian families. We will see how that turns out. That is an impactful piece for this province as it is a piece that has a large impact on our economy if it was to move forward. Just as importantly it has virtually no impact on our environmental accounts and that is important to note.
Mills: What about the potential passing of Bill-C69
Moe: It is a very problematic bill for the expansion of the Saskatchewan economy and the expansion of the value of the Canadian economy. It is a bill that deserves some public discussion in the months ahead and we will be doing what we can to raise that.
Mills: What other items do you expect will be on the agenda for you in 2019?
Moe: We’re having at an increasing amount discussions around mental health and addictions and how do we treat those in our communities that may be affected by ultimately mental health and subsequently at times some addictions issues.
How do we ensure that we have the supports in place, the right support I suppose, at the right time, in the right place, for the right person? That is a discussion that has been in the legislature, rightfully so, and needs to be in the public eye. It’s something we need to continue to work on and we made some commitments around the funding of it. And I think we need to ensure that as we continue to fund and have a conversation about mental health and addictions and how we treat that, that we’re getting the outcomes that we want as a society and we are funding for outcomes not just for society but most importantly for those that are affected by this.
Mills: There has been some criticism this last little while that perhaps your government has lost its humbleness after more than a decade in power. Can you speak to that? Do it is disappearing?
Moe: I certainly hope not and it most certainly shouldn’t. That starts with each of our individual MLAs staying in touch with not only with the constituents they represent, but people across the province. We are not here as some special type of person that is expressing views on how they feel legislation should be enacted or anything of the sort. We are only here for the service of the people that elected us to be here and if any MLA from any area of the province ever is in doubt of that or forgets it for even a moment I most assuredly know, and I know in my constituency of Rosthern-Shellbrook that my phone will be ringing and if I don’t take the advice of the people that I represent that they most certainly will put someone else in this place. The humility and hard work that I think are requirements of being an MLA and serving most certainly needs to continue and is something that we actively talk about. We serve at the pleasure of the voters, it has always been that way and most continue to be that way.