There is new leadership in the legislature but the first few weeks of the Spring Sitting have revealed that some things never change.
At a time when our government is on track to balance the budget, the new leader of the NDP has put forward a new $2.5 billion platform. Not only has the NDP endorsed a plan that would add $2.5 billion in new spending every year, they have yet to unveil a realistic way to pay for their promises.
It is possible but unlikely that the NDP carbon tax plan for Saskatchewan could cover this kind of reckless spending.
The NDP’s new leader has described our fight against the Trudeau carbon tax as a “costly and pointless crusade.” What is “costly and pointless” is a carbon tax that will hurt the industries that drive our economy and make it harder to make ends meet while doing nothing to reduce global emissions.
Your Saskatchewan Party government won’t wave the white flag and let Justin Trudeau, Ryan Meili, or anyone else force their costly carbon tax plans on our province. Our government will stand with Saskatchewan people, defend Saskatchewan’s interests and fight the carbon tax.
Meanwhile our government remains actively engaged and is working with the federal government to resolve issues like the grain backlog – a major concern for all of Saskatchewan. The approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline is a step toward reducing the amount of oil transported by rail, freeing up needed space for grain. We support the Alberta government’s threat to turn off the taps to B.C. in an effort to overcome that government’s delay tactics on the project.
A strong export-based economy requires strong trade relationships. India’s High Commissioner to Canada recently visited our province, providing an opportunity for us to promote our top industries. Saskatchewan’s trade with India has nearly doubled in the past decade. Maintaining a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship is important to allowing trade to continue to grow.
Additionally, our government has also offered the Prime Minister assistance to ensure our trading relationship with the United States remain strong. While the provincial and federal governments don’t agree on everything, trade is a front where a united Canada is stronger than a divided one, especially with uncertainty over the renegotiation or cancellation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The continued focus on these important issues has allowed Saskatchewan to experience so much positive growth in the past and will carry us into the future. RBC’s Economic Outlook has upgraded Saskatchewan’s growth forecast to 2.9% this year, the highest of any province in Canada.
From the RBC forecast report: "We expect Saskatchewan to buck the national trend this year as growth picks up to a chart-topping 2.9% followed by another solid year in 2019. A number of tailwinds are propelling the province’s economy including rising oil production, a recovery from weather-related weakness in agricultural production in 2017, and greater momentum in the manufacturing sector heading into this year."
While the leadership in the legislature has changed, the choice remains clear: our government’s strong leadership, strong record of economic growth and our commitment to stand up and defend Saskatchewan’s interests or the NDP’s weak leadership, weak record on the economy and out-of-control spending.