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    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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    Forests are one of the iconic symbols of British Columbia, and successive governments and companies operating here have largely focussed on the cheap, commodity lumber business that benefits industry. Former provincial forestry minister Bob Williams, who has been involved with the industry for five decades, proposes regional management of this valuable natural resource to benefit […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Community Economic Development in Manitoba - a new film January 16, 2018
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    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Our Schools/Our Selves: Winter 2018 is online now! December 18, 2017
    For the first time, this winter we are making Our Schools/Our Selves available in its entirety online. This issue of Our Schools/Our Selves focuses on a number of key issues that education workers, parents, students, and public education advocates are confronting in schools and communities, and offers on-the-ground commentary and analysis of what needs to […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Saskatchewan Platform Comparison

Saskatchewan’s two major parties have unveiled their election platforms.

The NDP’s fiscal plan is to collect higher potash royalties and reinvest the proceeds in public priorities like healthcare, education and housing. Columnist Murray Mandryk notes the spectre of Erin Weir.

The NDP has expressed a willingness to discuss sharing resource revenues with First Nations. The Sask Party criticizes the NDP for not costing this possibility.

However, as Mike McCracken observes, successful resource-sharing arrangements with the Nisga’a in BC and First Nations in the Yukon took a decade to negotiate. There is no reason to believe that potential Saskatchewan negotiations would affect provincial finances during the four years covered by the NDP platform.

The Sask Party’s Seinfeld platform is a collection of miniscule announcements (and re-announcements) that could be funded out of projected budget surpluses. Greg Fingas points out the similarity to Harper’s federal campaign strategy.

While the Sask Party revels in the modesty of its campaign promises, guaranteeing rock-bottom royalties for potash companies is extremely costly. It would forgo at least $700 million annually by 2015-16.

As the following table shows, the main difference between the Sask Party and NDP platforms is not the dollar amount but its allocation among various priorities.

Comparison of Platform Costs, 2015-16 ($ millions)

   NDP  Sask Party
 Refusing to Review Potash Royalties  -   $ 700.0
 Eliminating Small-Business Tax  $   64.0  –
 Lowest-Cost Utility Bundle  $   57.0  –
 Housing Affordability  $ 152.6  $  13.5
 Education  $ 150.6  $  29.4
 Healthcare  $ 139.9  $  14.3
 Child Care  $   66.4  $    7.6
 Highways  $   50.0  –
 Agriculture  $   50.0  –
 Municipal and Park Infrastructure  $   40.0  $    4.4
 Environment  $   18.1  –
 Cutting Waste  ($ 20.0)  –
 Other  $   79.8  $   54.6
 Total  $ 848.4  $ 823.8
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