Saskatchewan government reviewing $4.8M in library cuts

Saskatchewan libraries stopped inter-regional book transfers and announced layoffs to deal with budget cuts. Taryn Snell / Global News

The decision to cut $4.8 million from libraries in Saskatchewan in the provincial budget is now being reviewed by Education Minister Don Morgan.

On Thursday, Premier Brad Wall announced in a statement that Morgan will be looking over the “library funding issue” and will report his findings by next week.

Wall released his statement as a response to an Insightrix poll that showed the Saskatchewan Party has the lowest approval rating for the party since the company started tracking provincial politics in 2009.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Party dips to record low in Insightrix poll

The main reason for the drop in the number was the provincial budget, according to the poll.

“The tough decisions in this budget were made to get the budget back to balance and keep our economy strong,” Wall said in the statement.

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“We know the budget would be unpopular and said so prior to its introduction. This budget was not about trying to win popularity, but rather to do what is best for the province’s finances and economy.”

The provincial budget eliminated provincial funding for libraries in Regina and Saskatoon, saving the province $1.2 million. Regional libraries across the province are taking a $3.5 million hit.

Library transfers between Saskatchewan’s ten different library systems were stopped due to the cuts. Eight workers at the Parkland Regional Library were also laid off, as were six people in Moose Jaw.

READ MORE: Thousands drop everything and read to restore Sask. library funding

Earlier in the month, thousands of people protested the cuts with sit-ins at the MLA’s office and read for 15 minutes.

READ MORE: Sask. libraries still reeling from budget cuts


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