NDP Leader Carla Beck on March 7. Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan

 

Leader of the Opposition, NDP Leader Carla Beck, on March 7 again called on the Saskatchewan Party government to provide a break on the gasoline tax. It’s something Alberta and Manitoba have done, but Alberta has already rolled its break back on Jan. 1 and Manitoba is reinstating it on June 30. Minister of Finance Donna Harpauer responded that would only be temporary.

Editor’s note: references to “Mr. Speaker,” which are numerous, have been edited out as have the speaker’s introductions unless pertinent to the debate.

Carla Beck: This tired and out-of-touch government clearly isn’t focused on the things that matter most to Saskatchewan people. Instead we see them focused on picking fights and taking flights. Let’s look at offering some relief for Saskatchewan people who are struggling with the cost of living.

Yesterday we saw the Premier and we saw that whole caucus give a standing ovation for the SaskPower minister’s $3,500 private Mercedes chauffeur in Paris. But, when Saskatchewan families asked for some relief on their fuel bills, to that the Sask Party says, let them eat cake.

But I’ll try again. Will the Premier finally give Saskatchewan people a break on their fuel tax?

Deputy Premier and Minster of Finance Donna Harpauer on March 7. Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan

 

Donna Harpauer: I found it interesting, yesterday the Leader of the Opposition said, and I quote, “leaders lead.” But when it comes to affordability, the Leader of the Opposition’s only policy is a temporary pause on collecting the gas tax that pays for the roads in this province, a policy that was first proposed over two years ago under Ryan Meili. That leader has failed to come up with a single policy of her own. No leadership. Just the same old NDP that would crash our economy.

On this side of the House, under our Premier’s leadership, we are leading Canada in affordability for a family of four. Regina is leading the nation in terms of housing affordability. We are among the lowest in Canada for personal income tax. We removed 112,000 people off of the income tax roll entirely. We’re leading Canada in capital investment, and we led Canada in GDP [gross domestic product] growth. While Saskatchewan leads Canada, the opposition member continues to follow the policies of the failed NDP leaders Jagmeet Singh and Ryan Meili.

 

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