Beaudry-Mel­lor touts ‘Smart so­cial in­vest­ment’

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - COMING UP - DAILY HER­ALD STAFF

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.

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