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  • Betting on Bitumen: Alberta's energy policies from Lougheed to Klein June 8, 2017
    The role of government in Alberta, both involvement and funding, has been critical in ensuring that more than narrow corporate interests were served in the development of the province’s bitumen resources.  A new report contrasts the approaches taken by two former premiers during the industry’s early development and rapid expansion periods.  The Lougheed government invested […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Canada-China FTA will leave workers worse off June 2, 2017
    Global Affairs Canada is currently consulting Canadians on a possible Canada-China free trade agreement. In CCPA’s submission to this process, CCPA senior researcher Scott Sinclair argues that an FTA based on Canada’s standard template would almost certainly reinforce rather than improve upon Canada’s imbalanced and deleterious trade with China. It can also be expected to […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Faulty assumptions about pipelines and tidewater access May 30, 2017
    The federal and Alberta governments and the oil industry argue that pipelines to tidewater will unlock new markets where Canadian oil can command a better price than in the US, where the majority of Canadian oil is currently exported. Both governments have approved Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project, but a new report finds that […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Weathering the storm: is this the end of CRA’s political activities audits? May 5, 2017
    Yesterday, following a panel’s recommendation to allow charities more freedom to speak out, the federal government decided to suspend the Canada Revenue Agency’s controversial political activities audit program. Indeed this is good news for Canadian charities. Everyone at the CCPA is proud of the role our organization has played in challenging these audits and in […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Unauthorized dams built in BC's northeast for energy companies' fracking May 3, 2017
    A subsidiary of Malaysian state-owned Petronas, the company behind a massive Liquefied Natural Gas plant proposal near Prince Rupert, has built at least 16 large unauthorized dams in northeast BC to trap water used for fracking operations, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has learned. Read the report.
    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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