With their budget, the Sask. Party hiked taxes, made deep cuts, and hurt industries across the province. Now, a month after the Sask. Party released their budget, there are 5,600 fewer jobs in Saskatchewan than a year ago.
“Since the Sask. Party formed government, the number of Saskatchewan people who can’t find work has doubled to 40,000. Instead of using their budget to create jobs and opportunities for families, the Sask. Party has chosen to further hurt important industries and Saskatchewan people,” said NDP Jobs, Skills and Training Critic Warren McCall. “There’s no two ways about it, the Sask. Party’s mismanagement, scandal and waste is costing Saskatchewan jobs.”
The Sask. Party introduced significant cuts and changes to important services like health care and social assistance. More funding cuts and job losses have already been announced – and more are expected to come – but those sectors have already lost 2,300 jobs since last year.
“The Sask. Party’s attacks on education and health care hurt our kids and the province’s most vulnerable. They also disproportionally push women out of work,” said McCall. “In April alone, 84 per cent of the people thrown out of work in Saskatchewan were women.”
As part of their billion-dollar tax hike, the Sask. Party used their budget to add PST to construction services. The Saskatchewan Construction Association immediately raised concerns and their President noted that the industry is united against the new Sask. Party tax. He said that, “it is bad for Saskatchewan’s economy.” In just the first month following the tax hike, Saskatchewan’s construction industry already supports 4,200 fewer worker than the same time last year.
In Prince Albert and the North, 2,500 jobs have been lost since April 2016 and McCall noted that, at over 20 per cent, the First Nations unemployment rate is still unacceptably high and needs to be addressed.
“From underfunding to heartless and senseless cuts like the elimination of NORTEP, for too long, the Sask. Party has been hurting the North,” said McCall. “The people who live in Northern Saskatchewan deserve better. In light of the Trump administrations’ proposed border tariff on softwood lumber, the Sask. Party has an opportunity to step up and defend Northern jobs. We’re calling on them to finally do the right thing.”
Some other sectors with noteworthy job losses:
- Forestry, fishing, mining and oil and gas lost 2,000 jobs since last year;
- Agriculture lost 3,100 jobs year-over-year;
- Transportation and warehousing lost 1,600 between March and April and 600 jobs since last 2016.