Sask. Party talks support for small businesses; NDP to bring back STC if elected

Saskatchewan Party leader Scott Moe kicked off Small Businesses Week in the province by saying a re-elected Sask. Party government will support small businesses as they help drive Saskatchewan’s economic recovery.

“Small businesses employ nearly 150,000 people in our province and have a total payroll of more than $6 billion,” shared Moe during Monday’s announcement from Battleford. “We will do everything we can to ensure our small businesses can grow, invest and hire as we come through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Moe stopped by Battleford Furniture for the announcement where he continued to stress his party’s focus on a strong economic recovery. Some of the measures he covered during his visit include:

• A reduction of the small business tax rate for the next three years that will save small businesses nearly $190 million dollars, or an average $6,100 per business;
• A 10 per cent reduction in power bills for one year for everyone in Saskatchewan, including small businesses. The cut in power bills will result in $260 million in savings that will be reinvested in the economy and help drive the recovery; and
• A Home Renovation Tax Credit that will save homeowners up to $2,100 on the cost of home renovations and create new jobs in the construction industry.

“The strongest recovery in Canada is taking place right here in Saskatchewan,” he said. “Supporting the success of small businesses in our province is an important part of our plan.”

Saskatchewan is celebrating Small Business Week from Oct. 18 to Oct. 24.

NDP leader Ryan Meili stands in front of a STC bus parked next to the former STC building in Regina on Monday, October 19, 2020. (Photo: Moises Canales/620 CKRM)

Meanwhile in Regina on Monday, Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili deboarded a Saskatchewan Transportation Company bus next to the old STC building for his party’s election events in the Queen City and Moose Jaw.

While the party rented the bus from an Alberta organization for their events on Monday, Meili said his promise to Saskatchewan voters is to revive the STC if the New Democrats win the provincial election.

He believes this is essential infrastructure that is needed in the province.

“Especially in rural Saskatchewan where we have heard so many stories of seniors who have had to move to Regina or Saskatoon, when they wanted to stay living in Nipwain or Turtleford, because they weren’t able to get to appointments anymore,” stated Meili.

“We hear from farmers who have lost days in the field either because they can’t get parts or they are having to leave and run loved ones into the city for appointments.”

He said they would reach out to communities and talk to former STC users in order to find a better way to run the service.

Meili used the STC as an example to slam the Sask. Party’s record of cuts and selloffs. The Sask. Party government shut down STC back in 2017 and since defended their decision to dismantle the Crown corporation after ridership saw a large decrease and increasing costs.

Meili said now is the time to invest.

“Scott Moe and the Sask. Party have a dismal record when it comes to cutting funding from our most crucial institutions and selling off services that the people of Saskatchewan rely on,” he added.

In an email response, the Sask. Party said they will not raise taxes, privatize Crowns and will continue to make key investments in essential services and crown utilities if they win the election.

(With files from CJWW and Moises Canales)

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