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Saskatchewan’s Health Minister says he will be closely watching Nova Scotia as the province moves forward with a plan to introduce automatic consent for organ donation.

Nova Scotia announced legislation this week that would have all residents be potential organ donors unless they opted out.

Jim Reiter, Saskatchewan Minister of Health, responds to reporters' questions at a news conference during the Conferences of Provincial-Territorial Ministers of Health in Winnipeg on June 28, 2018.JOHN WOODS/The Canadian Press

It’s believed Nova Scotia will be the first jurisdiction in North America to adopt the measure.

Saskatchewan Health Minister Jim Reiter said his office has requested to speak with his counterpart in Nova Scotia.

“The intent all along is to move in that direction,” he said Wednesday, adding it has been slow going.

Brad Wall expressed support for introducing presumed consent while he was still Saskatchewan premier in 2016.

Mr. Reiter said the province needed to take other steps first, such as creating an organ donor registry and getting more doctors to encourage organ donation.

The 2019 budget includes money to create a registry.

The province has not closed the door on an opt-out system, but there are potential legal issues, he said.

A spokeswoman with the Ministry of Health, Karen Hill, said there are concerns about presumed consent infringing on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because a person’s religious beliefs may not agree with organ or tissue donations.

In that instance, legal concerns can be addressed by providing and promoting an opportunity for a person to opt out, she said.

Saskatchewan also announced Wednesday that April 7 will be Green Shirt Day across the province in honour of Logan Boulet. He died a day after the crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus in rural Saskatchewan last April 6. Fifteen others also died.

Mr. Boulet chose to become an organ donor before he died and his family promoted a day to encourage more people to become donors.