This provincial election is an opportunity for young people like myself to cast a vote for the direction they wish Saskatchewan to take the future.
My vote will be cast for the Saskatchewan Party and Scott Moe, in support of prosperous communities, a robust economy and a strong voice standing up for Saskatchewan in Ottawa.
Although prevalent in Canadian politics, running excessive deficits and unchecked public spending every year can squander the wealth of current and future generations. Scott Moe has pledged to balance Saskatchewan’s budget by 2024 despite the recent economic challenges presented by COVID-19.
On the other hand, Saskatchewan New Democratic Party leader Ryan Meili has yet to lay out a timeline, only saying that if elected the Sask. NDP plans to balance Saskatchewan’s budget “as quickly as possible.” To me, that is not a plan, that is a prayer Meili is hoping resonates with Saskatchewan voters.
As for public spending, the Saskatchewan government announced a $4-billion irrigation project at Lake Diefenbaker in July, projecting to more than double Saskatchewan’s irrigable land, while creating thousands of jobs. The project is a direct investment in Saskatchewan’s infrastructure, resources, people and agricultural industry. This is an important investment in an industry that had no choice but to continue marching forward to ensure food was available for Canadians during COVID-19.
Another investment the Saskatchewan Party has made for the future is a pledge to make post-secondary education in Saskatchewan more affordable. The Sask. Party pledges to boost the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship from $500 to $750 per student, to a lifetime maximum of $3,000, towards a post-secondary education in the province. This aims to incentivize Saskatchewan high school students to stay in the province while pursuing a higher education or trade.
Remember when Justin Trudeau told a veteran that some veteran groups are asking for more than the federal government can afford? Scott Moe will pick up some of the slack for veterans in Saskatchewan by boosting funding for the Saskatchewan Veteran Service Club Support Program from $100,000 to $1.5 million annually. This effort shows appreciation for the selfless service of veterans to our country.
The Saskatchewan economy relies heavily on the agriculture, oil and gas, and mining industries. These industries all need a champion right now to stand up for them in Ottawa. Scott Moe has proven time and time again that he is willing to tell Ottawa to take a hike, most recently after the Trudeau government’s recent throne speech, when Moe expressed disappointment in the lack of support for Saskatchewan industries.
He is currently joined by Alberta and Ontario in challenging the federal carbon tax in the Supreme Court of Canada, arguing that it is an unconstitutional tax, hurting farmers and households at the pumps. That contrasts with Meili’s past comments in 2013 saying that Saskatchewan should consider a “modest” carbon tax.
As a young person and a third-year finance student nearing graduation, I am now part of the future that I was promised while growing up. I do not want to see opportunities leave Saskatchewan. Their commitment to the economy, communities and growing a strong Saskatchewan has earned the Saskatchewan Party my vote.