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Thursday, November 22, 2007 

One Day On The Job - New Saskatchewan Party Government 'Invents' Financial Crisis

Today's Regina Leader Post reports the following after Brad Wall's very first scrum conducted moments after being sworn in as Saskatchewan's 14th Premier:

"Wall issued a warning that the province's finances are in sorry shape because of the stewardship of the NDP government that was swept from office after 16 years in the Nov. 7 provincial election. "I think you're going to see in the days ahead that what the previous government has left behind financially is fairly stark," he told reporters following the ceremony."
Regina Leader Post
November 22, 2007

His comments were immediately challenged (in a polite 'first day on the job' tone) by a local columnist:

"Can you explain, Mr. Gantefoer, [Saskatchewan's new Finance Minister] how we're suddenly in a financial crisis at $95-a-barrel oil and with the Loonie soaring above the U.S. Greenback?
Murray Mandryk
November 22, 2007

It sounds like Brad Wall wants to renege on some of his election promises and also to kill Saskatchewan's new Universal Prescription Drug Plan for ALL citizens over 65 years of age. To kill the plan he needs to invent a financial 'crisis' ..... but what do financial experts from outside of the province have to say ?????? .....

Here is what the National Bank of Canada had to say about the last 14 provincial budgets that the Saskatchewan NDP have delivered:

• Saskatchewan has brought down a 14th straight budget showing a surplus in the General Revenue Fund.
• A surplus is budgeted for 2007-08, achieved by a draw from the Fiscal Stabilization Fund.
• Total operating expenses are budgeted at $7.79 billion in 2007-08, an increase of 1.4% from the current 2006-07 estimate.

National Bank of Canada
March 22, 2007

-CBC Saskatchewan has more ....
-And even more as Calvert reacts .....

where is that mandrayk column published? I couldn't find that quote in the article published in both the SP and LP today.


Sean - the quote is at the end of the article .... 2nd or 3rd last paragraph

Without laying eyes on the books he now says are such a mess, Wall promised on November 10th that his $50-million/year tax cut on used vehicles' PST would be made retroactive to election day.

How responsible was that pledge in retrospect, if the province's finances really are 'a mess'?

If other Sask Party pledges may now have to be delayed and/or broken, does it really make sense that the PST cut on used vehicles was the very first priority to be dealt with?

Brad is mad. Psssh, pass it on!

Good advice Jan! That is what I will do!

"• A surplus is budgeted for 2007-08, achieved by a draw from the Fiscal Stabilization Fund."

This doesn't qualify as a surplus. When a government is drawing on its savings in order to avoid accruing debt, that still accounts as a deficit, because it's still spending more money than it brought in.

Furthermore, if you want to advocate setting tomorrow's budget according to today's oil prices, you're only reinforcing what Wall said -- planning future spending according to today's money.

Not fiscally bright.

Patrick ... I am glad that you don't do my bookeeping for me!

So If I make $2000 a month and this month I only spend $1600 and carry $400 into next month where I spend $2400 - to your way of thinking that is 'deficit - NONSENSE! The $400 carried forward was deferred income - my books balance. You are just looking for a way to endorse Brad Wall's nonsense!

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