Biggar-Sask Valley MLA Randy Weekes had a busy spring session. The 27th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan stayed busy with topics close to home such as his Biggar being included in the sell off of former SLGA locations, but also found himself across the globe for a special visit to India.

Checking in with Weekes after the spring session of Legislature, he commented on what ended being a main discussion during the final week.

"I think the highlight, there were a number of highlights, but one of the major highlights is the government's announcement that we're not going to try to meet the federal liberal government's timeline as far as zero emissions. They were pushing Saskatchewan and other provinces to have this in place by 2035, and we have said it's just not realistic, and it wasn't. So, we've pushed that back to 2050, and I think that's an important announcement." said Weekes who feels this is big news for the oil and gas sector in Saskatchewan, and a particularly big topic for west-central Saskatchewan.

The Speaker also mentioned the balanced budget with a large surplus, saying that is key when it comes to moving forward with investments in Saskatchewan.

"To keep the books balanced, that's so important as we move forward for investments in other areas that people need across the province."

Looking at some things a little closer to home, Weekes talked about Biggar being involved in the recent auctioning off of former SLGA retail liquor locations. An important local business in town is set to benefit."

"The Sarcan building in Biggar is getting quite old and needed to be replaced. I know I've been in discussions for some time about that, and this is a great opportunity to take over the liquor board store in Biggar and convert that to a Sarcan operation. It's a very ideal building to do that."

That news is taking place close to home for the local MLA, but his duty as Speaker took him all the way to India as part of a special delegation.

"I had a delegation of two other MLAs, one from the Saskatchewan Party and one from the NDP, plus the clerk. I've been working at this parliamentary exchange for some time, actually a couple of years before we were able to make it happen."

Why is this an important relationship? Saskatchewan produces 50% of the lentils that are consumed in India, a huge number shared by Weekes.

India is a customer in a number of different arenas as well. 

"India purchases a very large amount of potash from Saskatchewan, and a very large amount of uranium from Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan and (the State of Haryana) in particular, but India in general, we have a great trading relationship already. We have a trading office in New Delhi, which we visited of course."

Another area of common interest is foreign students. Many Indian born students that come to Saskatchewan to further their education stick around and become citizens, and start-up businesses in all sorts of sectors.

The recent trip was a continuation of the country-province relationship.

"Our parliamentary exchange just built on what has been done in the past. The Premier was there in the winter, there have been a couple of ministers to Haryana as well."

Weekes met with their fellow Speaker among other dignitaries discussing many of the common procedures and interests. He was eager to share those wide-ranging discussions will actually be replicated back here in Saskatchewan when the Indian contingent is welcomed back in September.

"It's a great relationship that we've built on."

Finishing our chat with Weekes, he mentioned that with the recent end to sitting he can focus on the Sask. Party nomination for the new constituency of Kindersley-Biggar in 2024.

News came out earlier this week that current Kindersley MLA would not be seeking another term in 2024, and Weekes said he was surprised to hear the news.

"Surprised to hear yesterday that Ken Francis was not going to run in the next election, and I just want to, you know, it's on a personal level, wish him all the best in the future."

Weekes wanted to wish him all the best, as he himself got back on the campaign trail. A nomination date should be announced soon from the newly formed Kindersley-Biggar Sask. Party executive, and with the Assembly no longer active he expects to be extra busy with his campaign the next couple of months. 

"I've submitted my nomination papers and it's up to the party and the executive to determine the place and location of the nomination."

With that process finally set to play out, Weekes plans to be active around the riding this summer.