Today, in response to the provincial government’s decision to authorize $4,568,663,000 of public spending through a special warrant, NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon called on the provincial government to recall the legislature and present a budget to fully respond to COVID-19.
“This is a massive amount of money, but the government’s special warrant provides no clarity at all when it comes to how this money is to be spent,” said Wotherspoon. “How much of this is for new COVID-19 spending? Where is it going? People deserve answers to these questions, and those answers should be provided in the Legislative Assembly.”
Since the Legislative Assembly adjourned on March 18, 2020, the government has released pre-pandemic spending estimates, updated revenue forecasts, and today’s special warrant.
“These are extraordinary times, and it makes sense that the government needs to rely on a special warrant until a budget is passed,” said Wotherspoon. “But now it’s time for the Sask. Party to show their work. They should return to the legislature with a plan that puts people first by supporting families, workers and local businesses, investing in infrastructure to create jobs with a SaskFirst procurement plan, and providing new funding for healthcare, municipalities, and the most vulnerable to match the scale of the challenges we face.”
“We’re ready to work with the government on a plan to restore accountability and provide oversight while ensuring a safe workplace and maintaining physical distancing,” said NDP House Leader Cathy Sproule. “It is time for the Sask. Party to let the people know when they plan to present a budget. If they are ready to talk about opening up the province, they should get serious about reopening the legislature and providing accountability.”