January 27, 2015

Legislative Report

21 January 2015

Building High Quality Post-Secondary Education

Saskatchewan people can be proud of our growing population and quality of life. They can also take pride in the fact that, for the first time in a generation, many of our young people are choosing to stay in Saskatchewan to start their careers and raise their families.

Today, Saskatchewan’s economy is diversified and strong with demonstrated and growing strength in areas such as agriculture and trade, innovation and manufacturing. If we want to sustain this in the long-term – and we do – we need to ensure tomorrow’s leaders have every opportunity to receive the skills and training needed to succeed in our dynamic labour market.

Our government places a high priority on access to high quality post-secondary education. Building on its authorization to grant Bachelor of Arts degrees in Humanities, Briercrest College and Seminary is now authorized to grant Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and History. Saskatchewan Polytechnic is authorized to grant a Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing degree.

Approval of theses degrees is provided under The Degree Authorization Act and The Degree Authorization Regulations, which enables more institutions to offer degree programs. Prior to The Degree Authorization Act and The Degree Authorization Regulations, which came into effect in 2012, only the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan had the authority to grant degrees, other than theological degrees, within the province.

Another example of meeting the needs of students and our increasingly diversified economy, is the proclamation of The Saskatchewan Polytechnic Act. This gives Saskatchewan Polytechnic the authority to operate as a polytechnic institution.

More than a name change, the evolution to Saskatchewan Polytechnic clarifies the institution’s authority to undertake and support applied research, grant degrees and fundraise for property. Polytechnics are industry-responsive technical training enterprises that support economic growth through applied learning and research. The proclamation of this Act and creation of Saskatchewan Polytechnic will help to meet labour market needs by providing increased applied training and education opportunities for post-secondary students in the province.

Our government is committed to post-secondary education that is not only accessible but also affordable. This is why we’ve introduced the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship, the Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings and the Graduate Retention Program. Since 2007, we have provided record support for both students and post-secondary institutions.

Just as we’re committed to reducing barriers for those choosing to complete post-secondary education and skills training, our government is also committed to reducing the burden associated with “red tape” by improving and modernizing Saskatchewan’s regulatory environment. January 19-23, 2015 is Red Tape Awareness Week in Saskatchewan.

In 2014, our government maintained our commitment to reduce red tape in ministries, crown corporations and agencies. Our newly approved Red Tape Reduction Action Plan requires the thorough analysis of new regulations and their direct costs, benefits and alignment with provincial priorities. The plan will also require the review of all existing business-related regulations with the same stringent examination every 10 years.

Some of the major regulatory modernization achievements in 2014 include changes to Occupational Health and Safety filing requirements for all businesses, streamlining of gas and electrical licensing, and improvements for processing of fishing and wildlife licenses.

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

Past Legislative Reports