Saskatchewan’s government has tabled a budget which forecasts a 434-million-dollar deficit but doesn’t increase taxes.
But the province is raising prescription drug costs for children and seniors, cutting cash for urban parks and slashing an active-families tax credit.
Finance Minister Kevin Doherty says the province plans to spend 14.5 billion dollars in the 2016-17 fiscal year, while bringing in 14-billion dollars in revenue.
He calls that gap “manageable.”
N-D-P finance critic Cathy Sproule says the government squandered its savings by draining nearly two billion dollars from the province’s rainy-day account.
However, Premier Brad Wall says Saskatchewan needs to look at core services it has to deliver in the future as it grapples with that 434-million-dollar budget deficit this year.
The review will start with the appointment of a special commissioner to recommend options for fewer health regions and more efficient delivery of services.
Wall says the province has not set a number on how many health regions there could be.
Saskatchewan Union of Nurses president Tracy Zambory says Saskatchewan could look at how the one super-sized health region model has worked in Alberta