For MLAs, the end of the day Thursday was also the end of the spring session and the start of the summer recess. The session itself was quite a busy one, with the highlight, of course, being the introduction of the budget in March.  

The economy was a key part of the discussions for the MLAs this year, and the strengths of it were something that Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA Dustin Duncan pointed out when speaking with Discover Weyburn about the past few weeks of the legislature. 

“That’s going to see us pay down a billion dollars of debt while still being able to invest in healthcare and infrastructure and education,” Duncan said of the budget. He continued to elaborate on how the province overall is doing when it comes to the economy, noting the low unemployment rate, and how the positive momentum of the economy is allowing two consecutive years of a billion dollars to be put towards the province’s debt.  

The economy and the budget, however, weren’t the only things that were accomplished by the government, Duncan added.  

“The budget is really the centrepiece of the spring session but a lot of legislation was passed as well,” the MLA for the area explained. “The Saskatchewan First Act really looks at providing more tools for the province to assert our constitutional jurisdiction when it comes to some of the issues that we’re having over the last number of years with the federal government; the Saskatchewan Firearms Act that is going to again, give us more tools to enhance not only public safety but also most importantly in this is to protect the rights of legal firearm owners in Saskatchewan. We made some additional changes to healthcare recruitment and retention with our four-point plan that is really, I think, seeing a lot of benefit in making sure that we have, you know, good healthcare for the people of the province.” 

One of the final things that happened during the spring session was the unanimous passing of a motion when it comes to the province’s plans for moving to net-zero emissions when it comes to power generation. Earlier this week, the premier announced that the federal government’s plan of net zero by 2035 is not feasible, and not affordable for a province like Saskatchewan.  

Duncan highlighted that provinces like Ontario, where 94 percent of their power generation already comes from sources such as hydro and nuclear, are also saying moving that extra little bit just isn’t feasible, and isn’t affordable in terms of how it will impact the average resident.  

“We did have a motion to basically say that, no, we’re going to have a made-in-Saskatchewan plan, and we certainly appreciate the support of the NDP to say no, we’re going to keep using natural gas, we’re going to keep using coal to the end of the life cycle of a particular facility, and we are going to look very closely at things like small modular nuclear reactors,” Duncan said. 

With the session over, it doesn’t mean the work of an MLA is over, especially for Duncan, who is also the Minister of Education. There will be meetings that have to be attended, as well as touring through the constituency to meet with residents and touch base with them. While he will be working throughout the summer, he is hoping he will be able to get some time off in the coming weeks to also spend some time with his family.