“This is not a political issue. This is an issue where most certainly people in governance positions need to provide that stable environment so that we can make what are very serious decisions,” said Moe on Tuesday.
“This should not be politicized. The NDP are attempting to do that, they are fearmongering in respect to questions in the House and media and they simply shouldn’t do it.”
“Introducing a budget without taking into account economic realities we’re dealing with over the last few days is irresponsible,” said Meili.
The premier said his party will not make “panicky decisions” or “knee-jerk reactions” to a variable market.
Minister of Finance Donna Harpaur said she’s hopeful the budget will remain balanced throughout the year.
“We could delay for two weeks, but to what end? If the markets recover we’re in the same budget. If the markets haven’t recovered, again, I don’t think I would change my expenditures,” she said.
Harpaur stated the government will revise the budget within the first quarter if a recession is, in fact, looming. However, the government feels confident that the 2020-21 budget has enough stimulus measures within it to sustain Saskatchewan’s economy.
As for revenue from oil, it will account for just 4.5 per cent of the 2020-21 budget said Harpaur. Other sources of revenue come from the federal government, other resources and taxes.
While Moe committed to delivering a balanced budget on March 18, he wouldn’t commit to the Oct. 26 election date.
On Tuesday, the NDP leader asked the premier to stick to the fall election date to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Why would you introduce something that brings people into more social contact in a time where events are getting cancelled and people are emphasizing more social distancing?” Meili asked.
“There’s zero business case, from a public health point of view, of introducing a massive public event that’s not already scheduled.”
Moe said his government is in constant communication with health officials and that they are weighing Saskatchewan’s election date “very, very seriously” whenever that may be.
“Should we have a type of outbreak here, the health officials are well placed to deal with what comes with this,” Moe said.View link »