Crowns raided, education cut – and the deficit is still $427 million

Sask. Party still refusing to tell families what they’ve cut, and what they’ll cut next

Brad Wall cut education by $51.3 million and raided Crown corporations for an extra quarter-billion dollars – and he’s still running a massive, $427-million deficit, and refusing to tell us what he’ll cut next.

“The Sask. Party let us down hugely during incredibly good times for our province, and it’s very obvious now that we can’t trust the Sask. Party during tight times,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten. “They drained the Rainy Day Fund during very sunny years by spending wildly on their misplaced priorities – so it took them no time at all to launch us into a massive deficit. It’s absolutely unbelievable that they’ve put the province into this situation – broke and cutting services. We shouldn’t be in this position, but they blew through billions and left us with little to show for it. 

“Today’s update shows the first place Mr. Wall went to make cuts is our kids’ education. He has hacked $51.3 million from classrooms since budget day – and those are classrooms that were already very overcrowded and very short on educational assistants and supports.”

The third-quarter fiscal update released Monday shows that debt will increase sharply to more than $13.5 billion at the end of the year. The reported deficit number is shocking enough, but it’s actually fudged to be lower than reality, since the Sask. Party is counting 15 months of Crown corporation revenue for this year, raiding the Crowns, and punting hospital and school renovations onto health region and school board debt, instead of funding them.

 Worst of all, though, according to Broten, is that the Sask. Party will not release a budget, and won’t tell taxpayers what they’re going to cut next.

“They’re hundreds of millions of dollars in in the hole, and refusing to tell us what they plan to cut next,” said Broten. “He won’t cut his waste and entitlements, like the Lean program or his $130 million worth of private advisors – so what will he cut next, if he’s given the chance?

“More cuts to front-line health care? Our kids’ classrooms? Maybe he’ll sell off a few Crowns? We can’t afford four more years of this.”