Saskatchewan - Commentaries
Sask Party Budget Steady as She Goes
March 19, 2008March 20 2008 LTT as PDF for print
Heading into the Saskatchewan Party's first budget, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation was looking for three things: education property tax relief, income tax relief, and restrained spending. We got one out of three.
Education Property Tax Relief
SUN shoots for the moon
March 11, 2008A columnist recently called Rosalie Longmore the most powerful politician in the province. To be sure, the head of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) has the government and much of the public convinced that whatever is good for her 8000 nurses is good for the province. Longmore, who landed nurses a 13.7 percent raise after an illegal strike in 1999, is emphasizing recruitment and retention as her union's current contract is due for renewal at the end of this month. Taxpayers should take her case with a grain of salt.
Drug Costs Will Soar
February 25, 2008Bound by its promises, the Sask Party government seems on course to spend more tax dollars on drugs than their NDP predecessors. Adding Avastin to the formulary was one expensive promise-a $4 million annual tab by which 80 cancer patients a year will, at best, live a few months longer. However, the decision to extend the $15 drug cap to children under 15 will also prove pricey.
We Can Fill Health Void Ourselves
February 11, 2008Late last year, newspapers reported our province's efforts to nab medical professionals in the United Kingdom. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) made a freedom of information request to find out what our province spent in the effort. The results didn't seem too out of the ordinary-that is, until more recent headlines gave pause for thought.
Put MacKinnon in Health
January 30, 2008More than a few eyebrows were raised when the Saskatchewan Party chose former NDP Finance Minister Janice MacKinnon to chair the board of Investment Saskatchewan. Though her appointment showed some wisdom--not to mention political savvy--the Sask Party would have been wiser still to put her on the health file.
Make School Taxes Priority Number One in First Budget
January 15, 2008On January 15th, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) gave 16 recommendations to Sask Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer for consideration in his government's inaugural budget expected this spring. Fortunately, one of the CTF's highest priorities was already on the government's radar screen: school taxes.
Pay Our Debt Now!
January 01, 2008Seasons of prosperity are precious opportunities not to be wasted. As our calendars turn to a new year, Saskatchewan is enjoying one of them. Grain and oil prices are high; people are flocking to the province in numbers not seen in ages; and our province is more optimistic than ever. But now that we've stopped being 'next year's' province, we must shed another monkey off our backs: our provincial debt.
A Merry Christmas Indeed!
December 18, 2007The cost of changing government has proven higher than most realized. It's not just the new chairs for the legislature that will cost $130,000. Nor is it the $914,000 in severance payments for 17 former MLAs now without work. It's not even the $10,462 raise for MLAs that puts their base pay at $82,110. No, its the price of outgoing and newly appointed civil servants that has taxpayers crying, "Bah, humbug!"
Sask Party Platform Only a Launch Pad
November 20, 2007Will Brad Wall and his new Saskatchewan Party government provide gains for taxpayers and improve government accountability The Sask Party platform does give us reason to say "Yes." But even if Wall follows through with his plans, even more options remain that could take our prosperous province even further.