The story so far

Themes of spring session, Saskatoon Mayoral race gets underway, and a look at Caora-Pelly

April 2, 2024 | Advertise with us

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Good morning. The no-session Easter holiday break week continues. April 2 is also World Autism Awareness Day, an internationally recognized and increasingly important day aimed at raising awareness about autism spectrum disorders and the challenges faced by individuals with autism. Learn more about World Autism Awareness Day here.

Here’s The SKoop for today, Tuesday, April 2:

  • A look at the themes of spring session so far,

  • Saskatoon Mayoral race kicks off, and

  • PM Trudeau says premiers are making “political hay” about carbon tax.

Today’s Top Stories

The Story of Session so far

To date, The SKoop Political Briefing has chosen not to provide a blow-by-blow account of each day’s Question Period during the spring legislative session. That’s mostly because, in our experience, the daily Question Period and legislative proceedings matter little to regular voters and folks outside of politics. Plus, you can just follow some press gallery reporters like the CP’s Jeremy Simes for his live-tweeting from Question Period.

Instead, we have been focusing on the major stories stories each day as well as the trends that may matter the most leading up to this fall’s election, in addition to nominations and what the political parties are up to.

However, it’s important to keep an eye on the themes and topics during session, especially what the government and opposition both are focusing on.

Beyond the customary chirps from both sides of the aisle, here’s what’s been the focus so far:

Cost of living and affordability. Every single day of session so far has seen Question Period kick off with NDP leader Carla Beck asking the government different versions of the same question: when the government will pause the provincial fuel tax? Premier Moe and his team have said in response that not collecting the carbon tax on home heating is better than pausing the gas tax. The theme of cost of living is the primary focus of the opposition because it has consistently polled as a top issue facing Saskatchewan people.

Health care. Another theme of session has been healthcare. The NDP has raised concerns facing nurses, access to rural healthcare, and mental health and addictions. The government has announced a new breast health center and additional addictions treatment beds.

Education. Of course, the ongoing (and now long-running) battle between the provincial government and Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation over a new contract and its details has been a frequent theme during Question Period. With classroom size and complexity supports continuing to be key in the standoff, the NDP has called for the government to listen to teachers and add these items to the contract. Perhaps a week off (schools are also on holiday this week) will cool everyone’s jets and a deal can be reached soon.

The carbon tax. The provincial government has made national headlines over the last month as Premier Scott Moe opposes the federal carbon tax. The government has successfully wedged the NDP on this issue as the party voted in support of the government’s bill to allow SaskEnergy to remit the carbon tax.

Budget 2024-25. Of course, another major theme from session so far is the government’s budget. The Saskatchewan Party team has focused on record investments in health and education, and increases in municipal revenue sharing. Debate over the budget will continue when session returns next week, and ministry estimates get underway.

If you want to catch up on Question Period without having to find your way through the Legislative Assembly website maze, The Mace is an excellent YouTube channel to check out (we are not affiliated with The Mace and have no idea who runs their account).

Mayoral election off to the races in Saskatoon

Cary Tarasoff has become the first person to officially announce their intention to run for Mayor of Saskatoon. Tarasoff finished 4th in the 2020 election with 2,650 votes. He is running on a platform of finding efficiencies and cutting waste.

Incumbent Mayor Charlie Clark announced he would not be seeking a third term as Mayor. Until now, there has only been speculation as to who will look to occupy the Mayor’s chair. It’s expected that Saskatchewan Party MLA Gord Wyant will announce in the near future that he’s running. Councillor Cynthia Block and former Mayor Don Atchison are said to be considering bids, and former candidate Mark Zielke is also running for Mayor.

The municipal election is scheduled for November 13, 2024.

Trudeau says Premiers would rather complain than find alternatives to carbon tax

Yesterday the federal carbon tax increased to $80/tonne. At a press conference in Scarborough, Prime Minister Trudeau told reporters that provinces always have the option to implement an alternative to the federal carbon tax if it is in alignment with federal targets.

“So, all those premiers that are busy complaining about the price on pollution but not putting forward a concrete alternative that they think would be better for their communities are just playing politics…They’d much rather try to complain about it and make political hay out of this.”

The press conference came after Liberal Premier Andrew Furey of Newfoundland and Labrador called for a meeting between premiers and the Prime Minister.

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2024 Election Candidate Tracker

  • Premier Scott Moe - Rosthern Shellbrook

  • Lisa Lambert - Saskatoon Churchill-Wildwood

  • Muhammad Fiaz - Regina Pasqua

  • Jeremy Harrison - Meadow Lake

  • Lori Carr - Estevan-Big Muddy

  • Eric Schmalz - Saskatchewan Rivers

  • David Buckingham - Saskatoon Westview

  • Bronwyn Eyre - Saskatoon Stonebridge

  • Steven Bonk - Moosomin-Montmartre

  • Jeremy Cockrill - The Battlefords

  • Ken Cheveldayoff - Saskatoon Willowgrove

  • Gene Makowsky - Regina University

  • Alana Ross - Prince Albert Northcote

  • Christine Tell - Regina Wascana Plains

  • Hugh Nerlien - Kelvington-Wadena

  • Marv Friesen - Saskatoon Riversdale

  • David Marit - Wood River

  • Doug Steele - Cypress Hills

  • Terry Jenson - Warman

  • Daryl Harrison - Cannington

  • Travis Keisig - Last Mountain Touchwood

  • Everett Hindley - Swift Current

  • Todd Goudy - Melfort

  • Sean Wilson - Canora-Pelly

  • Warren Kaeding - Melville-Saltcoats

  • Tim McLeod - Moose Jaw North

  • Paul Merriman - Saskatoon Silverspring

  • Terri Bromm - Carrot River Valley

  • Joe Hargrave - Prince Albert Carlton

  • Colleen Young - Lloydminster

  • Jim Reiter - Rosetown-Delisle

  • Jim Lemaigre - Athabasca

  • Kim Gartner - Kindsersley-Biggar

  • Khushdil "Lucky" Mehrok - Regina South Albert

  • Blaine McLeod - Lumsden-Morse

  • Megan Patterson - Moose Jaw Wakamow

  • Darlene Rowden - Batoche

  • Laura Ross - Regina Rochdale

  • David Chan - Yorkton

  • James Thorsteinson - Cut Knife-Turtleford

  • Rahul Singh - Regina Northeast

  • Riaz Ahmad - Regina Coronation Park

  • Ghislaine McLeod - Saskatoon University-Sutherland

  • Jamie Martens - Martensville-Blairmore

  • Nicole Rancourt - Prince Albert Northcote

  • Joan Pratchler - Regina Rochdale

  • Betty Nippi-Albright - Saskatoon Centre

  • Aleana Young (Regina South Albert)

  • Trent Wotherspoon (Regina Mount Royal)

  • Nicole Sarauer (Regina Douglas Park)

  • Meara Conway (Regina Elphinstone Centre)

  • Matt Love (Saskatoon Eastview)

  • Nathaniel Teed (Saskatoon Meewasin)

  • Erika Ritchie (Saskatoon Nutana)

  • Vicki Mowat (Saskatoon Fairview)

  • Jordan McPhail - Cumberland

  • Melissa Patterson - Moose Jaw Wakamow

  • Bhajan Brar - Regina Pasqua

  • Tammy Pike - Martensville-Blairmore

  • Darcy Warrington - Saskatoon Stonebridge

  • Tajinder Grewal - Saskatoon University-Sutherland

  • Carolyn Brost-Strom - Prince Albert Carlton

  • Noor Burki - Regina Coronation Park

  • Jared Clarke - Regina Walsh Acres

  • Jacqueline Roy - Regina Northeast

  • Brenda Edel - Rosetown-Delisle

  • Tom Kroczynski - The Battlefords

  • Don McBean - Saskatoon Chief Mistiwasis

  • Grady Birns - White City-Qu'Appelle

  • Lenore Pinder - Yorkton

  • Lorne Schroeder - Kelvington-Wadena

  • Thera Nordal - Last Mountain-Touchwood

  • Cheantelle Fisher, Moose Jaw North

  • Kim Breckner, Saskatoon Riversdale

  • Alana Wakula, Saskatoon Willowgrove

  • Trina Miller - Batoche

  • Sally Housser - Regina University

  • Wynn Fedorchuk - Canora-Pelly