The provincial election campaign continues on Thursday with the two main parties both making significant announcements.
Saskatchewan Party leader Scott Moe said on Thursday morning from Regina that a re-elected Sask. Party would provide a one-year, ten per cent rebate on electricity charges for all SaskPower customers.
The rebate will be applied automatically to all SaskPower bills for 12 months, starting in December 2020. The average residential customer will save $215 over the course of the year. The average farm customer will save $845.
He said the program will boost economic growth while helping families and businesses across Saskatchewan.
“It will apply to everyone: residential, farmers, industries, businesses and institutions such as schools, hospitals, universities and skating rinks,” stated Moe.
“This is a very equitable way to ensure that we are providing that opportunity for those dollars to go back into our economy and foster the economic recovery that we are working towards here in Saskatchewan.”
For residents in Saskatoon and Swift Current where they operate their own electrical utilities, the 10 per cent rebate will be provided to the two utilities by SaskPower so they can pass on the savings to customers in those cities.
Residential customers who are net metering and generating their own power, such as solar power, will receive a $215 rebate over the 12-month period – the equivalent of the average residential rebate.
Moe said it will cost about $262 million which will be covered by the General Revenue Fund and won’t impact SaskPower’s debt load. He noted how the rebate program will save SaskPower customers an additional $150 million a year by essentially taking the carbon tax off power bills.
“There’s a clear difference in this upcoming election. Justin Trudeau and Ryan Meili want to increase your tax burden right in the middle of a pandemic, and the Saskatchewan Party wants to give you a break on your SaskPower bill.”
Meanwhile NDP Leader Ryan Meili spoke in Saskatoon Thursday morning and brought up the need to improve education in the province.
Meili says if the NDP form government they will commit to smaller classroom sizes and investments in schools around the province.
Meili’s commitment will make $125-million available to address over-crowded classrooms. This funding could fund 1,000 teachers, 750 educational assistants, and 400 caretakers.
This is in addition to the $10-million previously allocated to addressing mental health in schools.
“We saw how the Sask. Party’s $54 million cut to our schools hurt Saskatchewan kids, and now as we face COVID-19, the future cuts to education that Scott Moe has already promised are downright dangerous,” said Meili. “The Sask. Party has made it clear that their plan is cuts to our schools, which means more kids in every class, and more worry for parents.”
Saskatchewan heads to the polls October 26.
(With files from Moises Canales)