Beaudry-Mellor touts ‘Smart social investment’
One of the Saskatchewan politicians vying to replace Brad Wall as leader of the Sask. Party and premier of the province has announced smart social investment will be a cornerstone of her campaign.
Tina Beudry-Mellor, who was Minister of Social Services before resigning from cabinet to run for party leadership, announced the first of three platform pillars Tuesday in Regina.
‘Three quarters of all government expenditures are dedicated to health, social services, and education,” a press release issued by her campaign read.
“Smart Social investment means being strategic about spending tax payers’ dollars on initiatives that generate strong, tangible returns on investment for Saskatchewan people.”
Beaudry-Mellor cited housing first strategies and teaching financial literacy and entrepreneurship in elementary and high schools as two examples of smart social investment.
“Tax payer dollars are hard earned,” Beaudry-Mellor was quoted as saying in the press release.
“Government has a responsibility to ensure that the way it spends your money produces results when investing in services that improve peoples quality of life and enhance communities.”
According to the press release, housing first takes homeless people off the streets and provides them with stable housing and support to break the cycle of poverty and alleviate the burden on police and medical services. The campaign cited Regina’s housing first program, which showed a $1.92 million savings from housing 26 people from 2016 to 2017 from an annual investment of $18,080 per person. It also cited Medicine Hat, which reached a functional zero for homelessness with housing first in 2015.
“If chosen as premier, BeaudryMellor will dedicate existing and appropriate Saskatchewan Housing Corporation stock in Regina and Saskatoon to implement housing first,” the press release said.
Beaudry-Mellor’s idea of financial literacy and entrepreneurship education from kindergarten to Grade 12 teachers budgeting, recognizing manageable consumer debts and saving for the future.
“Equipping our people with these life and business skills and fostering the spirit of entrepreneurialism is central to growing Saskatchewan’s labour force and its economy in innovative ways,” the release said. “There is evidence of this when considering many Junior Achievement and JDC West alumni have achieved success as provincial, national and global leader in business and entrepreneurship.”
Beaudry-Mellor would expand access to those programs to all young people.
“We have the fortune of having businesses and thought leaders in Saskatchewan who are interested in and are facilitating greater access to financial literacy and entrepreneurship education for all students, not only those who have access to business or achievement clubs,” Beaudry-Mellor said. “We will work creatively with all partners to equip our young people with the tools to compete and thrive in the private sector.”
Beaudry-Mellor is one of five candidates vying to replace Brad Wall as premier of Saskatchewan. Along with Beaudry-Mellor, former cabinet ministers Ken Cheveldayoff, Scott Moe and Gordon Wyant have declared they will run for the position. Former deputy minister to the premier and executive director of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Alanna Koch is also hoping to become the next premier. Jeremy Harrison had indicated he would seek party leadership, but dropped out of the race and endorsed Scott Moe on September 1.
The vote to elect the next leader of the Saskatchewan Party, who will immediately become Premier, will be held on January 27. Candidates must file their nomination papers along with a $25,000 entry fee by November 24.