The damaging effects of the Sask. Party’s tax hike to construction labour is still apparent as the value of residential and non-residential building permits saw another drop.
“The construction industry was already facing challenges that were slowing it down, and instead of helping it get up to speed, the government completely slammed on the brakes,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “It’s clear their PST hike needs to be scrapped immediately.”
The NDP Opposition is calling for a judicial inquiry into questionable land deals at the Global Transportation Hub, after the quiet release of its annual report shows another year of rising debt, a deficit of nearly $4 million, and no land sales.
“This year’s annual report sums up the failures of the Sask. Party to properly manage the GTH,” said GTH Critic Cathy Sproule. “Sask. Party insiders made millions off land deals, $2 billion was blown on a bypass that serves one customer at the GTH, and now the people of the province are on the hook for this expensive failure.”
According to the Saskatchewan NDP, SaskEnergy’s annual report highlights the need to keep the province’s publicly owned Crown Corporations in the hands of the people of Saskatchewan. And SaskEnergy’s new furnace rebate, NDP Leader Ryan Meili says, underscores the need for a more robust and comprehensive incentive system to help families, businesses and producers transition to cleaner and higher-efficiency energy usage.
“Giving those who can afford a new furnace a rebate on part of the cost isn’t enough to get us where we need to go,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “A furnace may not be the biggest bang for people’s buck, and most people won’t be able to afford the up-front cost. That’s why we continue to call for a comprehensive energy transition incentive plan we call Renew Saskatchewan.”
To mark the end of the school year and report on the first three weeks of the NDP’s Brighter Futures Education Survey, NDP Education Critic Carla Beck was joined by Sarah Cummings Truszkowski, a Regina parent and former educator, in front of École Connaught community school in Regina to discuss the state of Saskatchewan schools and the declining supports for Saskatchewan students.
“I have three children at Connaught. It is a brand new, beautiful, state-of-the-art school that was built with cool spaces for music, science, technology, and the arts, but unfortunately these spaces have become unavailable because of overcrowding, and the school yard will soon be full of portables,” said Cummings Truszkowski, a parent who filled out the survey and agreed to share her story publicly. “My children are not getting the best experience possible because the government has failed to provide stable, adequate, predictable funding to school boards.”
With teachers across the province preparing their report cards as the school year comes to an end, the Saskatchewan NDP is issuing a failing grade to Scott Moe’s Sask. Party government. Specifically, Meili called on Moe to account for his broken promise of 400 additional EAs and presented new numbers showing a significant decline in classroom supports over the past few years. This comes as school boards across the country are forced to cut staff and programs or run deficits as they grapple with rising costs and insufficient provincial funding.
“We’ve added 10,000 more kids to our classrooms over the past five years, but supports for those kids have fallen dramatically, leaving kids, educators and parents struggling,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “We’ve heard over and over from educators and parents through our Brighter Future education survey that teachers simply can’t keep up with growing classrooms and declining supports.”
With investment in construction in Saskatchewan at a 10-year low, the NDP Opposition is calling on the government to finally accept the damage done by the expansion of PST to construction labour and repeal it. The latest call comes after Statistics Canada reported that Saskatchewan saw a 16.6 per cent decline in investment in residential construction between March and April – the worst decline in the entire country.
“Hiking the PST and imposing it on construction labour has done nothing but hurt contractors and tradespeople, who are vital to the province’s economy,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “Investment in construction in the province in April fell to its lowest level in a decade. That should be a wakeup call to all that we need a government willing to scrap this damaging tax hike.”