Sask still only province with balanced budget

April 18, 2012

Saskatchewan remains the only province in Canada with a balanced budget, after Manitoba yesterday and Prince Edward Island today tabled deficit budgets. British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the Canadian government had all previously announced deficit budgets for the 2012-13 fiscal year. In Manitoba, the province increased taxes on gasoline and cigarettes, as well as fees for land titles, birth, marriage and death certificates.

“It’s no wonder a recent national poll found that 84 per cent of people surveyed in Saskatchewan have a positive outlook about the economy. Our economy remains strong and growing and our balanced budget will keep it that way,” said Saskatchewan Party MLA Nancy Heppner. “While other jurisdictions across the country and around the world struggle under the weight of crushing debt and deficits, our government continues to control spending while investing in programs and services important to Saskatchewan people.”

The 2012-13 Saskatchewan budget is balanced on both a general revenue and summary financial basis and limits overall government spending increases to under 5 per cent. The budget also includes sustainable spending measures such as $60 million for the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative to further reduce wait times, $581.5 million for highways, further increases to the Seniors Income Plan, $237.4 million in Municipal Revenue Sharing, $4 million to expand the colorectal cancer screening program province-wide and $113 million to increase benefits and the number of clients served under the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability program.

“Saskatchewan people have worked hard to get our province to where we are today – our responsibility as MLAs is to make sure we take action to protect those gains. Our economy is leading the nation and our population is at a record high,” said Heppner. “Saskatchewan truly is the best place in Canada to live, to work, and to raise a family. That’s the Saskatchewan Advantage.”