Today, Official Opposition Leader Ryan Meili and Economy and Jobs Critic Aleana Young called on the government to include a robust Sask Jobs Plan in the upcoming budget.
“Budgets are about values, and the investments we make are a reflection of our priorities. Our priority is prosperity, with good jobs for Saskatchewan working people,” said Meili. “Under the Sask. Party, 23,000 people are out of work compared with last year. There’s simply no time to waste, we need investments and a real jobs plan to get Saskatchewan families back to work now.”
Budget 2021 must include investments in jobs and measures to support workers and kick-start the dragging provincial economy, including:
- Remove the PST from construction labour and restaurant meals
- Diversify our energy sources and create jobs by taking full advantage of opportunities in solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels and other emerging renewable energy technologies
- Create new value-added incentives at 15% for mineral processing, green energy and forestry manufacturing, petrochemical product processing and retooling to allow steel producers to produce new products
- Sask First procurement that prioritizes local companies and workers for public projects and purchases
- Phasing in a $15/hour minimum wage, with offsets for Saskatchewan small business
- Affordable childcare to support working families
- Paid sick days with provincial government funding for small and medium sized businesses and taking full advantage of federal dollars on the table
- Internship programs to create jobs for young people this summer in the public service and the Crowns
- A new film employment tax credit to rebuild the film industry and create jobs
- Investments through SaskTel to improve connectivity and internet access in all parts of the province.
- A personal fitness incentive with a $300 tax deduction to help struggling gyms and improve physical and mental health coming out of COVID-19
- Collaboration with local industry leaders to grow job opportunities in Saskatchewan’s successful technology sector
“Saskatchewan families were having a tough time before COVID-19 hit. The Sask. Party failed to contain the pandemic. Now more people are unemployed and leaving the province,” said Young. “In 2017, at the first hint of economic uncertainty the Sask. Party hiked the PST, cut and slashed, and infuriated the province. This can’t happen again.”
Meili and Young called on the government to strike a cross-sector round table to include leaders from small and large businesses, workers, Indigenous leaders, women, new Canadians, and young people to guide the government’s response to diversify the economy for the future.