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  • How to make NAFTA sustainable, equitable July 19, 2017
    Global Affairs Canada is consulting Canadians on their priorities for, and concerns about, the planned renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In CCPA’s submission to this process, Scott Sinclair, Stuart Trew and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood point out how NAFTA has failed to live up to its promise with respect to job and productivity […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • What’s next for BC? July 4, 2017
    Five weeks ago the CCPA-BC began a letter to our supporters with this statement: “What an interesting and exciting moment in BC politics! For a bunch of policy nerds like us at the CCPA, it doesn’t get much better than this.” At the time, we were writing about the just-announced agreement between the BC NDP […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Could skyrocketing private sector debt spell economic crisis? June 21, 2017
    Our latest report finds that Canada is racking up private sector debt faster than any other advanced economy in the world, putting the country at risk of serious economic consequences. The report, Addicted to Debt, reveals that Canada has added $1 trillion in private sector debt over the past five years, with the corporate sector […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The energy industry’s insatiable thirst for water threatens First Nations’ treaty-protected rights June 21, 2017
    Our latest report looks at the growing concerns that First Nations in British Columbia have with the fossil fuel industry’s increasing need for large volumes of water for natural gas fracking operations. Titled Fracking, First Nations and Water: Respecting Indigenous rights and better protecting our shared resources, it describes what steps should be taken to […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 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
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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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