Canada

Phil Tank: Find out — the ‘Saskatchewan’ is booming

The state’s economy is booming due to rising commodity prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Just five months ago, the Saskatchewan provincial government submitted a cold budget with higher taxes, effectively ignoring people’s financial hardships amid rising costs and inflation.

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Unlike other states, the Saskatchewan government has been unable to provide reassurance to consumers due to economic uncertainty despite high resource prices.

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That changed when Prime Minister Scott Mo announced that he would issue a $500 check to all adults who filed their 2021 tax returns by October 31st.

Rather than wait a day for Finance Minister Donna Harpouer to reveal it in her first quarter update, Mo made the announcement Monday in a video posted to social media.

Determine if the move represents sound fiscal policy, as some have suggested, or just a taxpayer-funded bribe ahead of the pending by-elections in Saskatoon-Mewasin It should tell you everything you need to know to do so.

Some believe the gesture’s estimated $450 million cost should instead have gone toward fixing the state’s broken health care system and struggling education system.

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Harpauer countered that he did not intend to use the funds to increase the operating budget, as he did not know whether windfall income from resource revenues would be sustained.

Regardless of how you feel about the timing and function of the Buy Election, well, affordable checks, the boost to Saskatchewan’s economy is welcome news.

Saskatchewan’s economy was the only province in Canada to retreat last year, and its 5% decline over the past five years stands out as the worst of any province.

In addition to the checks, the state is projecting a $1 billion surplus, a whopping $1.5 billion more than the budget, and now looks like it was filed five years ago.

That means the ruling party was able to balance the budget for the first time long before Moe took office.

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The government also canceled plans to expand the state’s sales tax to include gym memberships and other recreational activities, one of the most criticized moves in the March budget. A PST is added to the ticket for the event.

Small business tax freeze extended to pay off $1 billion in debt.

Even before this week’s announcement, word of the state’s economic resurgence reached audiences around the world through The Economist’s article detailing the state’s economy, which rebounded following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

With the headline “Rural Canada luxuries amid global supply crisis,”Nearly everything the state produced in abundance saw its price skyrocket as a result of the war. “

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While many may find it frustrating to be called “remote” and the odd use of the word “Saskatchewan,” Saskatchewan is leading Canada with 6% growth this year. Predictions to be expected are welcomed after years of stagnation and decline.

The article also noted the province’s labor shortage and Canada’s second worst population growth in the past five years.

And 36,000 people are waiting for surgery under the pressure of the pandemic on the health system.

Harpauer lacked the enthusiasm expressed in The Economist.

“We cannot assume that (commodity) prices will remain this high,” she told reporters. “We have to be very, very, very cautious about our spending going forward.”

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That seems like a smart idea to one finance minister who was roasted last month after it was revealed that he spent nearly $8,000 on a charter flight to North Battleford to push the budget in March.

We all know that the war between Russia and Ukraine cannot last forever, even if the “Saskatchewanis” are booming.

We must bear in mind that the people who helped settle this state are benefiting from the atrocities taking place on the other side of the world.

Perhaps you should light a candle when you get a check to show the tragic circumstances that are fueling our burgeoning economy.

Phil Tank is Digital Opinion Editor at Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

ptank@postmedia.com

twitter.com/thinktankSK

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Phil Tank: Find out — the ‘Saskatchewan’ is booming

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