(28 Nov 2012)
Using the Benefits of Growth
Saskatchewan remains the only province in Canada with a balanced budget.
The 2012-13 Mid-Year Report shows that our growing tax base and increased tax revenue are strong enough to offset lower than expected resource revenue. Our government's continued support for communities experiencing flood damage and other increased costs has resulted in a spending increase of $31.6 million, pushing the total budget to $11.23 billion
With B.C. announcing a possible deficit of $1.5 billion by year-end, and Alberta running a $1.3 billion deficit that could more than double, our province remains the only deficit-free province in Canada.
Even when resource revenue is down, Saskatchewan's diverse economy provides economic stability. This allows us to continue to use the benefits to growth to improve the quality of life for everyone.
One such example is the recently announced mid-year increase in funding for school divisions. As our economy grows, so too does our population, which in turn has resulted in an unexpected and significant increase in school enrolments. To accommodate that growth, our government is providing a mid-year funding increase of $6.6 million to eight school divisions.
- Lloydminster RCSSD 89
- Prairie Spirit SD 206
- Prairie Valley SD 208
- Regina RCSSD 81
Saskatoon SD 13
- South East Cornerstone SD 209
- St. Paul's RCSSD 20
- Sun West SD 207
This funding increase will be used to provide educational services and aid in finding space for new students. In addition, $800,000 has been committed to implement a process that will result in 40 to 50 new relocatable classrooms added for the start of the 2013-14 school year. We welcome all newcomers to the province and continue to work to provide the services a growing province needs.
Another service our government is committed to providing is timely access to healthcare. For the past several months, specialists across the province have been taking part in what’s called a “pooled referral” process. Pooled referrals allow patients to either see the first available specialist or wait to see one of their choice. To facilitate that process, our government recently announced Referral Management Services, an agency that will match patient referrals with the specialist that has the shortest wait times. This common sense approach means people see a specialist sooner, resulting in a diagnosis and treatment plan much more quickly. For example, pooled referrals in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region have reduced the average wait time for a gynecology appointment five months ago by almost half – from 44 to 24 days. For more information, go to http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/pooled- referrals.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Donna.
Past Legislative Reports