Two-week session of Saskatchewan Legislature starts Monday with full budget being presented

For the first time since mid-March, Saskatchewan’s MLA’s will be back in the legislative assembly on Monday but with a difference.

Due to COVID-19, the look of the assembly will be different as the government will have 10 of its 46 members in the house with the NDP having 5 of its 13 over the two-week session which begins with Finance Minister Donna Harpauer presenting a full budget.

Just before MLA’s were sent home in March when the legislature shut down, Harpauer provided a small snapshot of the budget as a $15 billion spending plan was presented but no revenue projections were given at that time. That will happen on Monday with Harpauer saying the spending plan has not changed with significant investment being made in health care, education, social services and infrastructure.

Harpauer acknowledges there will be a deficit and the number will be staggering, but she is reminding people this is a “pandemic budget” . She says people need to remember that when they hear what is presented shortly after 2 PM.

“The bottom line will be a little breathtaking.” Harpauer stated. “We were planning on balancing and had worked hard as had the people in this province in doing so and we were there before COVID-19 hit.  The message we want to deliver is we can work through this in what is a different time.  We will get people back to work,  we will grow the economy and we are going to move forward and grow as a province.”

That is a statement NDP leader Ryan Meili disagrees with.  With this being the last time MLA’s will sit before a provincial election, Meili says Saskatchewan voters need to look at one thing.

“Going into the next election, Saskatchewan people have a clear choice in front of them.” Meili said. “A choice between new bold ideas or same old, same old. A choice between short-term thinking or long-term prosperity.”

Meili has indicated he would also like to press the government on issues like racism, the on-going lockout at the Co-Op refinery in which he thinks the government should legislate workers back to their job and a higher increase in the province’s minimum wage.

620 CKRM will let you know what is in the budget as Jim Smalley and Brian Golly will discuss the highs and lows from 2-3 on Monday afternoon.

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