Budget Leaves Saskatchewan Behind
Missed opportunity to revive or replace the STC, implement single payer pharmacare, and end homelessness
March 20th, 2019 - 11:08am
This Liberal budget fails to address many of the key issues facing individuals and families in Saskatchewan, and in Saskatoon West. I am disappointed with the budget and believe it is a missed opportunity to revive or replace the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC), implement a single-payer pharmacare plan, and end homelessness.
The failure to revive or replace the now defunct STC stood out since the budget provided funding for intercity transportation in other jurisdictions. While the government provided $93.5 million for intercity transit in the Greater Toronto Area, there was no funding allocated for Saskatchewan.
I have asked this Liberal government to provide funding to either revive or replace the STC more than a dozen times in the last two years, and most recently in December when this budget was being drafted. This is a real crisis — Saskatchewanians are sounding the alarm, but the Liberal government is nowhere to be seen.
The budget also fell short of the expectations and needs of Canadians when it comes to the housing crisis and public pharmacare. There is nothing in this budget to end homelessness and they have no intention to introduce single-payer public pharmacare. Trudeau’s Liberals are completely disconnected from the everyday reality of people in Saskatchewan.
While I was disappointed with the budget in the broadest sense, there are a few elements that merit credit. For instance, Métis veterans will finally be compensated for their important contribution to the allied victory in World War II. Furthermore, the non-profit Canadian Roots Exchange will receive funding to continue their work in advancing reconciliation by bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to promote mutual understanding and respect.
New Democrats will bring forward a real plan to make life more affordable, ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable housing, and an economy that works for everyone – not just the well-connected and powerful friends of the Prime Minister.