The economy was uppermost in everyone's mind in 2010. We have done relatively well against other world economies, but it does remain fragile and so our government needs to continue to focus on creating jobs as the number one priority.
Saskatchewan's economy has also done relatively well and it continues to grow. Here in Souris-Moose Mountain the issue has been finding the contractors needed and the skilled workers required. Through my travels in the constituency, oil field and related activity can only be described as hectic.
Potash was in the mind of many, not only in Souris-Moose Mountain but also in Saskatchewan and throughout Canada. Most everyone in the constituency opposed the takeover bid and Ottawa did not approve the deal.
Budget 2010 focused on job creation, continued economic recovery and fiscal restraint. Due to the Economic Action Plan and continued stimulus spending, our constituency saw a number of projects underway and now nearing completion. Over $60 million flowed to Souris-Moose Mountain through various programs.
There were renovations and upgrades to Crescent Point Place and the Tom Zandee Sports Arena in Weyburn, a number of municipal road, water and sewer projects in communities like Carlyle, Carnduff, Grenfell, Kipling, Maryfield, Pangman, Wapella and Moosomin. There were also a number of Recreational Infrastructure program funding to places like Alameda, Bengough, Bienfait, Broadview, Fillmore, Lake Alma, Manor, Radville, Redvers, Stoughton, Yellow Grass, Whitewood and Wawota.
The Throne Speech stated that balancing the nation's books will not come at the expense of pensioners, and it will not come by cutting transfer payments of health care and education or by raising taxes on hardworking Canadians.
We have proceeded with a number of important initiatives like making available Employment Insurance special benefits like maternal, parental, sickness and compassionate benefits to the self employed. We have frozen EI premium rate increases for two years and have limited the increase on a go forward basis to 5 cents per $100 of insurable earnings.
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff did not have a great year and remarkably, he was found to say that tax increases and a GST hike were not off the table. This is the same Liberal leader who called himself a tax and spend Pearsonian-Trudeau Liberal, and the same leader who was among the first Liberals to call for a carbon tax.
2010 had record rainfalls and weather has made life difficult for farmers across our province. The government of Canada and Saskatchewan did announce an aid package based on $30 per acre and the program represented the largest one time provincial agriculture disaster response in Saskatchewan's history.
In 2010 we responded quickly and effectively to the tragedy in Haiti. We committed $2.85 billion over five years to help promote maternal, newborn and child health around the world.
We had a new Governor General appointed and a critical vote on a motion relating to a Private Member's Bill to scrap the long gun registry that resulted in a close 153-151 vote.
We introduced the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada's Immigration System Act to track down on illegal migrants who try to jump the line into Canada, a bill which the Liberal-NDP-Bloc Québécois coalition opposes.
Over the long haul, the Opposition has been shown to be soft on crime, to be promoting programs that would cost billions and that could only be paid for by raising taxes. This is something that Canadians do not want. We cannot go back to the tax-and-spend Liberal ways. We must stay the course, keep taxes low and provide jobs and conditions for continued economic growth, something that Canadians have come to expect from our government.