By this week’s numbers:

  • 52% of Saskatchewan people say they couldn’t cover a $200 expense at the end of the month (MNP).
  • 45% are experiencing “debt hopelessness,” the belief that they won’t be able to cover their expenses this year without going deeper into debt (MNP).
  • Bankruptcy filings in the province are up 24% year over year, worst in the country (OSB).
  • Retails sales are down 2.2% year over year in Saskatchewan, ranking ninth among the provinces (StatsCan).
  • Employment Insurance claims have increased 11% year over year (StatsCan).
  • Investment in building construction is down 10% year over year, while investment in residential construction is down 18% year over year (StatsCan).

Several measures of economic health show that the Sask. Party government is letting people down through their damaging choices, making ordinary people pay more to cover the costs of their failed megaprojects.

According to the latest MNP Consumer Index Report, 52% of Saskatchewan people say they’re $200 from insolvency by month’s end (an increase of 2%), and nearly half of respondents (45%) aren’t confident they’ll be able to cover their expenses this year without going into debt, in what MNP describes as “debt hopelessness.”

This debt hopelessness is forcing more and more people to the edge, with the number of people filing for bankruptcy in Saskatchewan up 24% compared to November 2018 — the steepest increase among all provinces — according to figures released this week by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada.

Retail sales, often seen as a canary in the coal mine for overall economic health, are down 2.2% year over year in the province, ranking Saskatchewan ninth among the provinces. Joblessness numbers meanwhile, have risen. The number of Employment Insurance claims in Saskatchewan has increased more than 11% year over year, and the number of Saskatchewan people receiving Employment Insurance benefits has increased by 3% since 2018. 

One contributor to these stresses was the Sask. Party government’s decision to double the money it takes in from the PST, raising it to 6% and extending it to restaurant meals, children’s clothing, and construction labour. The consequences for the construction industry have been stark: numbers released this week by Statistics Canada show that investment in building construction in Saskatchewan has dropped 10% since last year, while investment in residential construction has plunged 18% year over year.

“The average Saskatchewan family is paying nearly $800 more per year in PST than they were before the Sask. Party hiked it, and that’s hitting cash-strapped families particularly hard,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “It’s time for the government to stop making things worse, reverse their damaging choices, and build an economy that works for people and keeps people working.”