The reaction from the Saskatchewan budget is coming in. Here is what various groups and organizations are saying
Saskatchewan Teachers Federation: President Patrick Maze says a reduction of 1.2 percent in operational funding is troubling. We had hoped the government would demonstrate a stronger committment to supporting teachers.
Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association: President Gordon Barnhart says SUMA is relieved the budget maintains what Premier Brad Wall has called the “solemn promise” of the municipal revenue sharing program, but he remains concerned over how Saskatchewan cities and towns will bear the burden through provincial downloading.
Saskatchewan Federation of Labour: President Larry Hubich says it is clear workers, Crown Corporations, healthcare patients and students are not priorities for the government, and is a continuation of their attacks on hard-working Saskatchewan people
SGEU – President Bob Bymoen is restating what he said going into the budget which is Saskatchewan people and its public employees didn’t get us into the financial mess which has been created, but they are being forced to accept the consequences of the government’s mishandling of taxpayers’ money.
Saskatchewan Construction Association: President and CEO Mark Cooper says the decision to apply the PST to construction labour costs puts the province at a competitive disadvantage, and raises new barriers to investment. He says Saskatchewan is now the only jurisdiction in Western Canada to fully tax construction labour
University of Regina: President Dr. Vianne Timmons says this is the worst budget she has ever seen as less money is coming in at a time when the campus is growing and is an economic driver. She says this will result in job loss.
Saskatchewan School Boards Association – While happy with the fact 28 school boards are not being amalgamated into one, President Shawn Davidson says there are still concerns over funding. He says each board has unique circumstances and a reduction in funding means all will have to look carefully at where cuts can be made without affecting the quality of education Saskatchewan students deserve.
City of Regina: Mayor Michael Fougere has a mixed reaction to the budget. He is pleased to see the province’s revenue sharing formula remains intact, but the impact of other funding changes and downloading measures remains to be seen with additional questions as well
Canadian Federation of Independent Business: President Marilyn Braun-Pollon says it is a mixed budget. In one way, it is brutal because of rising taxes, but on the other hand, 100 million dollars in tax relief is welcome
Saskatchewan Medical Association: President Dr. Intheran Pillay is concerned about marginal increases in health spending and while appreciating the fiscal challenge the province is facing, there are concerns from the SMA that the system will be strained and patient care will be negatively affected. He adds the health-care system needs to be fundamentally changed to address the challenges it faces.
Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan: Vice-president Norm Hall says farmers are not happy with Doherty’s budget saying the elimination of the gasoline tax exemption and a three cent a litre tax on diesel will push up costs