The Spring Session has come to an end, with the NDP effectively shining light on a damaging decisions in the Sask. Party’s deficit budget, full of cuts and claw backs that are having a hurting Saskatchewan people and the programs and services we all rely on.
“The Sask. Party’s refusal to come clean and deliver this bad news budget to the people of Saskatchewan prior to the election is clearer than ever,” said NDP Leader Trent Wotherspoon. “After mismanaging nearly a decade of record resource revenues, the Sask. Party drove the province deeper in debt, cut funding to important services and programs, and did little while the province lost 9,500 full time jobs over the last year.”
The Sask. Party refused to make good on their commitment to teachers’ salaries, by cutting their funding by nearly half. Many already underfunded school divisions were forced to cut staff and run deficits.
No plan to develop or create jobs was outlined in the budget. In fact, adult basic education, apprenticeship programs and trade programs for colleges and universities all faced cuts despite the growing need to address Saskatchewan job losses.
Seniors and those most vulnerable were left behind by the Sask. Party as they hiked the cost of prescriptions and cut many social service programs as well as the Aboriginal Court Worker Program and Aboriginal Police consulting groups.
Funding to parks in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Weyburn, Swift Current and the Battlefords were also cut and parks across the province were put on notice that more cuts will be on the way.
The Sask. Party is plowing ahead with costly and problem prone projects like the Regina Bypass and Carbon Capture, while Saskatchewan dollars and jobs are being shipped out of province. The Sask. Party’s refusal to save and mismanaged projects also led to Saskatchewan’s credit rating being reduced for the first time in more than 20 years.
The Official Opposition also came forward with strong proposals, like NDP Health Critic Danielle Chartier’s bill to help Saskatchewan workers deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. Chartier’s legislation would make the Workers' Compensation Act more inclusive and ensure that all Saskatchewan workers affected by the disease receive the supports they need.
“The sunny days of high commodity prices are over and the Sask. Party is putting their failure to diversify the economy and create good jobs on the backs of Saskatchewan workers and families,” Wotherspoon said. “The Saskatchewan NDP will remain committed to holding the government to account while listening and acting on the concerns brought forward by the people of Saskatchewan. Working and building together toward a bright future for all.”