(20 June 2012)
Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship
Graduation season is upon us. This used to be a bitter-sweet time of the year in Saskatchewan. While we were excited for our kids and grandkids, we also knew that many of them would leave our province to continue their education or find work. Not anymore. For the first time in decades, our young people are choosing to stay – and it’s important as a government we take action to support that decision.
The new Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship is one way we are doing that. First announced as a campaign promise in the 2011 election, this new program will provide Saskatchewan grade 12 graduates who have enrolled in a post-secondary institution at home with up to $500 a year to a lifetime maximum of $2,000 over 10 years. This will provide roughly 8,450 high school and GED graduates with scholarships each year.
That Saskatchewan Advantage scholarship is not the only way we’re supporting post-secondary students. There’s also the Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education – under this new program, we will provide a contribution to a Registered Education Savings Plan at a rate of 10 per cent of annual contributions to maximum of $250 per child per year. The Saskatchewan Student Loan Forgiveness Program specifically targets doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners, by forgiving part of their Saskatchewan Student Loan if they choose to practice in rural and remote Saskatchewan - $120,000 over five years for doctors and $20,000 over five years for nurses and nurse practitioners. We anticipate these two new programs will be implemented in the coming months.
You can find out more about all three of these new programs by going here.
Message to the Class of 2012
To the Class of 2012: congratulations. You live in a province where your future is indeed bright. Our economy is strong, employment is at a record high and our population is growing faster than it has in more than 50 years. While other provinces and countries struggle under the crushing weight of debt and deficits, the 2012-13 Saskatchewan budget is balanced – as a matter of fact, we are the only province with balanced budget. At the same time, our government is making sustainable spending investments in programs and services important to you and your family such as the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative, to reduce wait times and more funding the SAID program, which will people with disabilities to live with independence and dignity.
The important question now is: how do we maintain that growth? Over the course of the summer, MLAs will fan out across the province to ask you:
Government Seeks Public Input
What should the government's long-term goals be?
What strategies or policies should the government pursue to achieve those goals?
What short-term measures can the government take to address some of the more immediate challenges of growth?
If you need information on how to participate in this process, please contact my office or the Government Caucus Office in Regina. Together, we will maintain the Saskatchewan Advantage.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Jim.
Past Legislative Reports