Management of Public Finances

In 2009, Saskatchewan’s total debt was $7.7 BILLION.
By 2014, government documents show that debt will be $11.9 BILLION.
In five short years, that is a 55% increase.
The following is an excerpt from a column in the Leader-Post on Nov 26/10:
“Public debt in Saskatchewan has increased by $448 million in the
first half of the 2010-11 budget, and there’s a big reason why we should
be wary when we begin to see numbers of this magnitude:
During the 10-year reign of the Progressive Conservative government
in the 1980s, total public debt in Saskatchewan increased to $13 billion
from $3 billion — a billion dollars a year.
… this Sask. Party government isn’t taking a hard enough look at
the long-term consequences of its extra spending. And that extra
spending — according to the government’s own numbers — will increase
debt by $4.2 billion in the next four years.
Yep, you read that right, folks. That’s a familiar extra billion dollars of debt each year.”

Questions for Candidates Running in the Provincial Election

Printable PDF of Questions for candidates

Legislative/Labour:

Essential Service legislation (Bill 5) and changes to The Trade Union Act (Bill 6) have created unfairness for all public sector workers. It took away the right to strike, and made it impossible to achieve a fair collective agreement. It took away the right to organize, and it invited employers like SAHO (Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations) to waste thousands of tax payer dollars on media campaigns against health care workers. What are you planning to do about Bill 5 & Bill 6? (more…)

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Taxing the rich

September 23, 2011

Over at the Globe and Mail Economy Lab our friend Stephen Gordon [1] argues that there are only limited revenues to be gained by taxing the rich.

He plays around with some back of the envelope calculations based on CRA data on the incomes of those making more than $500,000 — accurately enough, I think — and concludes that each percentage point increase in the marginal tax rate of this very affluent group would yield only $400 million per year in increased annual revenues. Thus “a tax on millionaires is unlikely to generate much new revenue.” (Those of you out there inclined to pile on Stephen should note that he does not oppose higher taxation of the very affluent on equity grounds.)

The problem with Stephen’s approach is that he does not include the option of raising the taxable incomes of the very affluent by ending or limiting preferential treatment of the property income which goes to the very top of the income distribution. (more…)

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Report uncover trail of mismanagement at Sask. regional colleges

Minister ‘disturbed’ by findings

By Jeanette Stewart, The StarPhoenixJuly 2, 2011

The government released Thursday the results of investigations conducted after complaints were received about dealings at the colleges, with serious allegations – including the purchase of a luxury vehicle for personal use – against the joint president of St. Peter’s and CEO of Carlton Trail. (more…)

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Letter to the Editor: No cause to boast

By David Smith, The StarPhoenixSeptember 21, 2011

It’s absurd for Brad Wall to claim that his Saskatchewan Party is the only one capable of managing the province’s economy.

How much better possibly could the NDP have left the economy for this government? (more…)

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Transparency eluding Norris

By Murray Mandryk, Regina Leader-Post July 2, 2011

The problem with the whole government transparency/ accountability thing is that it’s not something you can subscribe to on your own terms.

It isn’t about positive and self-serving press releases about the average weekly salary in Saskatchewan increasing 5.2 per cent this year – although the crop adjusters might now find that number fascinating.

Nor is it about running government as some private old boys club, where you get to meet with whomever you please. That Saskatchewan is now being scolded by Guy Giorno, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, for being one of only two provinces in the country (the other being, P .E.I.) without an accountability law for lobbyists says something about how big an issue transparency is here. (more…)

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Questions still surround failed merger: NDP

Improper spending alleged

BY JAMES WOOD, THE STARPHOENIXSEPTEMBER 15, 2011 8:55 AM

There are still too many unanswered questions around the irregularities discovered in connection with the aborted merger of Carlton Trail Regional College and St. Peter’s College, the NDP said this week. (more…)

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The story of the billboards

What inspired these ads? Quite simply, our members. The work SEIU-West members do is a valuable contribution to the day-to-day life of the people of Saskatchewan.

(more…)

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Canada’s income gap widening faster than most other countries (CP)

OTTAWA—A new study says Canada is rapidly catching up to the United States as a country divided between haves and have-nots.

The Conference Board says income inequality has been rising more in Canada than in the United States since the mid-1990s, and faster than in many peer countries.

In fact, the think-tank says Canada had the fourth-largest increase in income disparity among a sample group of 17 advanced economies during the period. (more…)

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Merger issue test of gov’t

Murray Mandryk
Saskatchewan News Network; Regina Leader-Post
Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The problem for the NDP is that it simply hasn’t been able to find an issue that gnaws away at Premier Brad Wall’s personal credibility or the competence of his Saskatchewan Party government.

While one might think that blowing the budget’s revenue forecast for 2009-10 by $2 billion might have huge ramifications, (more…)

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Timing key on nuclear agenda (SP)

By Murray Mandryk, Regina Leader-PostAugust 31, 2011

To put it mildly, the Saskatchewan Party government’s timing on nuclearrelated decisions has always been a bit off.

First came its attempted foray into large scale nuclear power plants, mere months after taking office. (more…)

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