Big business benefit while public endures cuts
If there was ever any doubt that the Sask. Party government’s cuts and privatization agenda is ideologically-driven, look no further than Brad Wall’s eagerness to hand money to big corporations, most notably his recent sales pitch to Alberta energy companies.
Fighting the deficit is the rationale for slashing funding to schools, libraries, and health services, firing hundreds of public employees, and shutting down STC. But at the same time, Wall is offering incentives to oil companies to relocate to Saskatchewan. This, on top of a new corporate tax cut that will put our province’s tax rate at the lowest in the country.
If Saskatchewan is so strapped for cash, why is Wall so willing to give handouts to big business?
Maybe the current financial mess – which government created by its own reckless spending – has provided an excuse to gut and sell off public services and Crowns once and for all.
If government were not determined to undermine public services, it would consider other obvious alternatives to its slash and burn budget. It could ask corporations to pay more – not less. It could reduce the deficit over six years, instead of three. It could rein in its own spending on consultants and mega projects.
But those options won’t be considered by a government determined to hand more public services over to forprofit businesses, and sell off Crowns to corporate interests that know little about our province, and care even less about its people.
Sid Wonitowy - Yorkton Editor:
As a frontline health care provider and as the Vice-president of SEIU-WEST, I was proud to add my voice to the protest at the Premier’s fundraiser in Saskatoon. What I saw there was an energy I have not seen for some time – the people were distressed by the injustice created in our recent budget.
As a person who does not condone violence of any kind, it was shocking to see the behaviour of the fundraiser attendees who were inconvenienced by our right to protest – I myself was run into by a car repeatedly as I walked across the street. However, I am writing to ensure we maintain our focus on the real issues at hand.
While pastoral services, travel immunization clinics, parent mentoring services, podiatry services and the hearing aid clinic have all been eliminated as health care programs, the Sask Party Government chose to reduce corporate taxes to the lowest rate in the country. Does this government truly believe that corporations deserve an added tax break at the same time they are advising hearing-impaired All material in this publication is the property of the Alberta Newspaper Group, LP, and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior consent of the Publisher. The Publisher is not responsible for statements or claims by advertisers. The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement or for omitting to publish an advertisement. Liability is strictly limited to the publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue or the refund of any monies paid for that advertisement. persons that they can no longer rely on a basic service? No wonder the people of Saskatchewan have begun to vocalize.
For the majority who rely on public services, (not all of us can pay our way through health care and education), we must stand together to tell this government to act on our behalf – that is supposed to be their job. We cannot be tricked into believing that we must all ‘tighten our belts’ – the Premier’s fundraiser certainly demonstrated that many in this province have not had to do so, and so why should the rest of us? That corporate tax break, if reversed, could restore services that were cut in the latest budget – but we must call on our elected officials and pressure them into reversing these decisions.
I encourage you to contact your MLA and use your democratic right to protest – public pressure works as evidenced by the reversal to the library cuts. Let’s keep growing our movement to end austerity in this province!
Neil Colmin Vice-president, SEIU-WEST