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Saskatchewan election tracker 2020: Here’s what the parties are promising

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As Saskatchewan’s 29th general election gets underway, Global News is tracking the promises made by all six parties on the campaign trail.

From the coronavirus pandemic to health care, schooling, the economy and infrastructure, we’re keeping track of those promises to allow voters to make an informed decision.

Campaign promises are tracked to specific days and from commitments made by the parties on their online platforms.

Skip to promises made by the:

All parties have also released their full platforms:

NDP releases platform promising improved health care, smaller classrooms

Saskatchewan Party releases full platform, promises balanced budget by 2024

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Saskatchewan Buffalo Party releases provincial election platform

Saskatchewan Green Party unveils free tuition, guaranteed income in platform

Saskatchewan Liberals call for strengthening economy, accountable government

PC Party of Saskatchewan leader aims to provide alternative to ‘big kid on the block’

Saskatchewan NDP

Oct. 18

NDP Leader Ryan Meili promised to have a gender-balanced cabinet. Meili said 50 per cent of an NDP cabinet will be compromised of women.

Oct. 17

The NDP pledged its government would open a mental health emergency room in Prince Albert. This would be in addition to mental health ERs in Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw.

The party said it would invest $5 million in a suicide prevention strategy, fund an opioid and crystal meth strategy and increase addiction support by $10 million.

Additionally, the NDP said it would provide funding to hire mental supports in classrooms.

Oct. 11

NDP Leader Ryan Meili said if his party wins on election day, he would commit to raising the minimum wage in Saskatchewan to $15 per hour.

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Meili said the wage increase would be phased in over the first term of an NDP government.

Oct. 10 

The Saskatchewan New Democrats announced a platform commitment to end commercial development in the province’s urban parks including Wascana Park.

The party also pledged to reverse the government’s takeover of the Provincial Capital Commission.

Oct. 8

Ryan Meili promised to invest $10 million to improve mental health care and create an addictions strategy.

The NDP said $7.8 million would be used to create dedicated mental health emergency rooms in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw.

An additional $2 million would go toward developing and implementing an evidence-based strategy to tackle Saskatchewan’s opioid and crystal meth crisis.

The party said it would also introduce a legislated suicide prevention strategy.

Oct. 7

Ryan Meili said a new surgery and outpatient centre will be built in Regina if the NDP forms government.

The centre would include diagnostic imaging, a pharmacy, rehabilitation and an outpatient cancer care, according to the NDP.

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The cost is estimated at $60 million.

Oct. 6

Ryan Meili is promising $50 million to hire 700 additional home care staff.

The proposal includes the hiring of approximately 200 certified care aides, 100 licenced practical nurses, 70 registered nurses, 100 caretakers, 40 carpenters, 50 cooks, 80 groundskeepers and 60 occupational therapists.

The NDP leader said this would allow more seniors to stay in their homes.

Oct. 5

Ryan Meili promised an investment of $100 million to hire health-care staff.

This would include hiring 100 doctors, 150 nurses, 300 licensed practical nurses and 500 continuing care assistants, according to the NDP.

Meili said he would work in partnership with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, professional associations and unions in developing the hiring plan.

Oct. 3

The NDP promises to enact legislation to close the gender pay gap. Additionally, the party said it would ban dress codes at workplaces that have mandatory high heel policies.

Oct. 2

Ryan Meili said he wants to make government more transparent and accountable.

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As part of that promise, Meili said he would call a public inquiry into the Global Transportation Hub and the Regina Bypass.

The NDP would also bring in measures to strengthen conflict of interest rules for MLAs and require all lobbying to be made public.

Oct. 1

The Saskatchewan NDP said it will commit $125 million to reduce the size of classrooms if it forms government in the upcoming election.

The NDP said the funding could support 1,000 teachers, 750 educational assistants and 400 caretakers.

This is in addition to $10 million previously promised by the NDP to address mental health supports in schools.

Sept. 30

The NDP proposed a wealth tax of one per cent on everyone in the province with a net worth of over $15 million.

The party said this would raise an additional $120 million in revenue annually and would be used for education and health-care spending.

Party Leader Ryan Meili also pledged to build a new bridge and hospital in Prince Albert during a campaign stop in the northern Saskatchewan city.

The NDP did not put a cost on the promise.

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Sept. 25

The NDP said it would reopen rural emergency rooms closed by Scott Moe and commit to keeping all existing rural acute care centres open. The NDP said they’ll invest an additional $10 million to address chronic short staffing and recruitment challenges in rural health care.

The party said it would also invest in rural health infrastructure as part of its capital plan to fix crumbling rural health-care facilities and convene a panel of rural municipal, health-care, First Nations and Métis leaders to advise on improving access to health care in rural areas.

They said the would also work with the health science faculties on an aggressive rural training program to recruit and retain young people from rural Saskatchewan in health-care careers.

Sept. 23

The NDP said it would ban corporate and union donations to political parties and bring in a cap on contributions that would align Saskatchewan’s rules with provinces throughout the country.

Sept. 21

Ryan Meili announced that an NDP government will invest $5 million to hire 50 mental health nurses for schools and an additional $5 million to work with school divisions to reverse cuts and hire child educational psychologists, counsellors, speech-language pathologists and other mental health supports.

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Sept. 17

The NDP said that as part of a platform commitment to reaching 50 per cent renewable electricity by 2030 and a legislated target of 100 per cent emissions-free electricity by 2050, they would work with SaskPower to explore a major expansion of baseload geothermal power capacity.

Sept. 16

Ryan Meili said he would enact legislation to protect the province from privatized health care and reverse steps taken by the Saskatchewan Party toward a two-tiered system.

He said the Saskatchewan Medicare Protection Act would be modelled on British Columbia’s Medicare Protection Act to prevent further expansion of American-style patient pay services and double-billing that he said undermines the public health care system.

Sept. 10

The NDP said it will lower SGI premiums for drivers by seven per cent — roughly $85 a year.

It also said all drivers would receive a $100 rebate.

Ryan Meili said the money would come from SGI’s one-billion-dollar reserve fund.

Sept. 9

In its first pre-election campaign promise, the NDP said it would bring in $25 a day child care.

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Ryan Meili also promised to increase the number of child care spaces by 2,200 and conduct a review of the system with experts.

He didn’t specify how much the program would cost.

 

Saskatchewan Party

Oct. 15

Scott Moe promised to restart the community rink affordability grant.

It would provide $2,500 per ice surface yearly at a cost of $1.7 million per year.

The party said it would also increase yearly funding to the Saskatchewan veteran service club support program.

Funding would increase from $100,000 to $1.5 million yearly, Moe said.

Oct. 10

The Saskatchewan Party says it will increase supports for D/deaf and Deafblind Saskatchewan residents. The supports would include three additional Deafblind intervenors, three new ASL interpreters, one additional sign support professional and one case manager.

The party says the added services would cost the government $1 million a year.

Oct. 8

Scott Moe promised three measures to make life more affordable for seniors.

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The first reducing the maximum cost of ambulance calls by 50 per cent to $135 a call and eliminating inter-hospital ambulance costs.

The Saskatchewan Party put a cost of $8.4 million yearly on the province.

The second measure is increasing the seniors income plan to a maximum of $360 month.

It would be phased in over three years and cost $9 million per year once fully implemented, the party said.

Moe said his third measure is hiring 300 new continuing care aides at a cost of $18.4 million a year.

The party promised to hire 180 care aides for long-term care facilities and 120 care aides to provide home care services.

Oct. 7

Scott Moe will expand the province’s insulin pump program to everyone with Type 1 diabetes, benefiting about 400 people.

The Saskatchewan Party said it would also cover the cost of continuous glucose monitoring systems for children under the age of 18.

The incremental costs of the two programs is estimated by the party at $4.6 million a year, with slightly higher costs in the first year for the insulin pump program.

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Oct. 6

Scott Moe pledged $6 million per year to expand autism funding to more children.

The proposal would provide individualized funding of $6,000 each year to children between the ages of six and 11.

The Saskatchewan Party said the funding will offer flexibility to parents in choosing therapeutic interventions and supports.

Oct. 5

Scott Moe said he would restart the active family benefits.

It would provide families with an annual income of under $60,000 up to $150 a year per child or $200 for a child with a disability to cover the costs of participating in sports, arts or cultural activities, the Saskatchewan Party said.

The party said it would benefit up to 20,500 families at a yearly cost of $5.7 million.

Moe also promised 750 new childcare spaces over the next four years and said the one-time start-up grants for new licensed home-based spaces would increase by $500 a home.

He said they would also increase the monthly nutrition grant for all licensed home-based childcare spaces by $20 and the annual equipment grant provided by $150 per year per space.

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The Saskatchewan Party estimated the cost at $9.7 million over four years.

Oct. 3

The Saskatchewan Party says it will reduce taxes for small businesses as the province emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

The small business tax would temporarily be reduced from two per cent to zero per cent beginning retroactively on Oct. 1, 2020.

On July 1, 2022, the tax rate will rise back up to one percent.

Then on July 1, 2023, the tax will return to its current two per cent rate.

Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe says the initiative will cost the government $189 million over four fiscal years.

Oct. 2

Scott Moe said he would increase the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship by 50 per cent — from $500 a year to $750 a year.

Party officials said it would cost $8 million over four years and benefit roughly 8,000 eligible students

Oct. 1

The Saskatchewan Party said it will reduce SaskPower bills by 10 per cent for one year starting in December.

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The party said the average residential customer will save $215 over the course of a year, while the average farm customer will save $845.

According to the party, the rebate will cost $87.2 million in 2020-21 and $174.4 million in 2021-22, with the cost to SaskPower covered by the general revenue fund.

Sept. 30

The Saskatchewan Party promised a home renovation tax credit of 10.5 per cent on up to $20,000 of eligible renovations.

The party said the program would run from Oct. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2022, with the maximum eligible amount capped at $11,000 in the first 15 months and $9,000 for the final 12 months.

The cost of the program is estimated by the Saskatchewan Party at $124 million.

Aug. 27

Although not an election promise, the Saskatchewan Party government released an updated fiscal outlook.

It projected deficits over the next three years of $1.4 billion in 2021-22, $855 million in 2022-23, and $340 million in 2023-24 due to the economic turmoil from the coronavirus pandemic.

A surplus of $125 million is projected for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

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Green Party

Sept. 28

The Green Party promised full health benefits to everyone if they form the next provincial government.

Party leader Naomi Hunter said they will expand provincial coverage to include all health services including dental, optical and mental health coverage, along with complementary and alternative healing practices.

The Green Party did not provide a costing for the plan.