Rising Cost of Living

“Saskatoon has become less affordable than Calgary and Edmonton” (National Post, Jan 26/11).
“House prices across the board have gone through the roof. Rents are skyrocketing” (Prairie Dog, Dec 31/10).
The lowest cost utility bundle guarantee was scrapped by the Sask
Party and utility rates have leaped as a result. SaskPower rates alone have increased an average of 13% for urban residents and 17% for rural
residents.
The NDP’s tuition freeze was also scrapped by the Sask Party and tuition has increased on average by 11%.
Peter Gilmer of the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry had this to say
about the failure of the Sask Party to address these concerns: “I really
think it’s quite unbelievable that at a time of an economic boom and
massive resource wealth that there’s really so little in this budget for
low-income people, to improve the pocketbook of low-income people. This
is really a very limited response to the housing crisis in the province
right now … You have to have a significant income to make ends meet
… We need to improve people’s incomes. We also have to make sure that
their cost for basic needs like housing are affordable and this budget,
quite frankly, doesn’t do that.”
Notably, the Sask Party’s most recent budget devoted $5 million to
private beer retailers – three times the amount of new money devoted to
address the housing crisis.

Voting best way to help oneself

By Gerry Klein, The StarPhoenix October 20, 2011

One might argue that the the level of government least able to strike a new deal for families is the local one.

Yet on the very day that University of British Columbia researcher Paul Kershaw, along with Saskatoon’s Nazeem Muhajarine, released a report that calls for a new deal to help young families overcome the losses they have experienced compared with families 30 years ago, Saskatoon city councillors were reviewing a report on how to get 84 new affordable housing units on the market. (more…)

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Families need ‘New Deal’

By Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix October 19, 2011

Canada needs a “New Deal for Families” to solve the enormous social and economic upheaval caused by soaring housing costs, creators of a study released Tuesday at the University of Saskatchewan say.

The generation raising children today has less money and time than baby boomers, despite a doubling in size of the Canadian economy since 1976, said Paul Kershaw, a family policy expert from the University of British Columbia. (more…)

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Renee’s Story: Professional, dedicated, yet she has no place to call home

Renee works every day to help people who are facing severe addiction issues in her community.  She provides professional counsel to men and women. She hears their stories and understands their difficulties. Little do her clients know that she is facing her own challenges.

Renee is the mother of two school age children and has a wonderful husband. However, all is not well in their world. (more…)

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Rent plan needed

By Sheila Glennie, The StarPhoenix October 17, 2011

One reason I am a New Democrat is because I believe housing is a basic community need and there should be a plan.

As a student, my son was paying his half-share of $650 per month rent in Saskatoon in 2006. By 2009 he was paying half of $1,350 for a similar two-bedroom suite in the same neighbourhood.

This September he took a job in Ontario and is paying only $790 a month for 800 square feet in a house that has two bedrooms, a patio in front and a sunroom in back. The same month his brother in Regina rented a 900-squarefoot wartime house for $1,750 a month. (more…)

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Letter to the Editor – Help where needed

By Anne Hanson, The StarPhoenix October 17, 2011

Re: Wall targets families with tax tweaks (SP, Oct.13). ‘Twas ever thus. The rich get richer and poor get poorer.

It’s too bad that the poor families cannot afford to put their children into sports, let alone get a tax break. (more…)

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No Vacancy: Homeless in Regina

Affordable housing hard to get

By Peter Mills, The Leader-Post October 8, 2011

It took a lot of tears and even more courage, but Darlene Shepherd was candid about being homeless in Regina.

“It’s not just about being homeless. There is mental and physical damage to us,” Shepherd said, crying. “I talk to people who try to help and it just seems like it’s just talk.” (more…)

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New Identification Requirements at the Polls

Provincial Election poster Photo ID YFS version

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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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We’re not all ‘on track’ with the good times

By Verda Petry, The Leader-Post July 11, 2011

Was it a joke? tongue-in-cheek? Surely no one would pay for a fullpage colour ad as a joke. I refer to the On Track Saskatchewan ad (June 28). I wondered – for whom is Saskatchewan “on track”? I let my eyes drop to the bottom of the page where I found the answer: Provincial chambers of commerce, Association of Saskatchewan Realtors, Certified General and Management Accountants, Canadian Home Builders Association. For these groups Saskatchewan is “on track”. (more…)

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Letter to the Editor: valuable insight

 By Tanis Kershaw, The StarPhoenixSeptember 21, 2011

Re: $5 budget keeps reporter hungry (SP, Sept. 16). I commend SP reporter Jeremy Warren and the 12 other citizens who took the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre’s food basket challenge. While it certainly cannot replicate the circumstances of those living in poverty, who regularly rely on the food bank, the challenge brings awareness to an issue that often remains hidden. (more…)

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