Thomas Molloy walks up the steps to the Legislative Building in Regina, Saskatchewan on Wednesday March 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell

Saskatchewan promising safer highway intersections after Broncos bus crash

Carbon tax and the economy are expected to be on the agenda during the fall sitting of the Saskatchewan legislature.

The Saskatchewan government is promising to make highway intersections safer following the deadly bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.

The government made the pledge Wednesday in the throne speech that opened a new session of the legislature. Plans for the fall sitting include bolstering commercial driver training and bringing in a strategy to reduce collisions at highway crossings.

Premier Scott Moe said the training predates the Broncos crash in April, but has been a focus ever since.

“We will be looking to move forward with a new course, a new training standards and parameters in the very near future,” Moe said.

The Broncos were on their way to a junior hockey playoff game when their team bus and a tractor-trailer collided at a rural intersection. Sixteen people died and another 13 were injured.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

The government says a preliminary review of more than 900 intersections has been done and $700,000 is to be spent to clear sight lines and improve safety.

“Saskatchewan has been working closely with other western provinces to improve commercial driver training and ensure consistent standards between provinces,” the government said in the throne speech read by Lt.-Gov. Tom Molloy.

The province has increased the budget for safety initiatives such as turning lanes, lighting, guardrails and rumble strips and is committing to spend more in next year’s budget.

Related: Humboldt Broncos will advocate for seatbelt use on team buses

Related: Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili said the government has a poor record when it comes to driver training and highway safety.

“There were a number of recommendations … on how to improve safety at intersections by using roundabouts and they chose not to follow those recommendations,” Meili said.

The government says it still plans to balance the budget by next year after increasing the provincial sales tax earlier this year. But Moe said that isn’t going to be easy.

“There are still some difficult decisions that will have to be made this coming year, but we remain committed to balancing that budget despite some of the economic headwinds that we may be heading into.”

Saskatchewan plans to cut its deficit this year to $365 million, down from $595 million last year.

The government said it also aims to apologize to those affected by the ’60s Scoop in which about 20,000 Indigenous children were seized from their birth families and relocated to non-Indigenous homes from the 1950s to the late 1980s.

Alberta and Manitoba have already apologized for the apprehensions which stripped the children of their language, traditions and family ties.

The province said it’s also following through on a promise in the spring to introduce legislation to expand parental leave to 63 from 37 weeks and to add an additional week of maternity leave.

Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Grand Forks celebrates the holidays with Santa Claus parade, light up

The Christmas tradition was a hit on Friday night.

RDKB receives funding for disaster response ‘work space’ in Midway

The work space and storage will be used by disaster response volunteers.

Christina Lake Ladies’ Golf finishes successful year

The team starts back up again in April – new members welcome!

Border Bruins lose to Beaver Valley on home ice

The team will play the Jack this Friday at 7 p.m.

Feeling festive at annual Midway Christmas party

The party featured a visit from Santa

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Woman forcibly confined, sexually assaulted between Creston and Cranbrook

The suspect forced the woman into her vehicle before driving along Highway 3

‘I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun’

Keremeos gas station attendant tells story about man with gun coming to store

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

Most Read