Saskatchewan Needs A New Job Creation Strategy
What can we do to create good new jobs which pay a living wage? Jobs
that offer a future for young people in Saskatchewan? Jobs that contribute
to building a sustainable and just society?
The New Green Alliance would start with a new energy program. We are
the only province in Canada without an energy conservation program. We
need to retrofit older homes, revitalize our inner cities, and end Third
World housing in our North. This would be a major job creation project!
We have a tremendous potential for wind power. Why not develop this industry
by using our own local businesses and workers? Why import this technology
from Alberta and Europe?
The energy for the 21st century will be solar. We have a great potential
here. Why have we totally neglected this option? Why do the old parties
only think of oil and coal which burden us with climate change, pollution
and health problems?
There is a tremendous potential for biomass energy development in our province, using forest wastes and new tree crops
and grasses. Yet virtually nothing is being done in Saskatchewan.
These are new high tech industries, and they create many more jobs than
the old energy systems. New businesses would be locally owned and controlled.
Our expertise and products would be exported. We desperately need new
people in government.
What Happened to Democracy?
Why are people in Saskatchewan refusing to vote? Why do they have such
a low opinion of politicians? Why do our Members of the Legislative Assembly
behave like 10 year old school boys?
There are virtually no differences between the three major parties
on the basic issues, like taxation and resource development. The NDP
policies have been little different from those of Grant Devine’s
Tory government. The Liberals are the same. Thus, governments are elected
with the support of only a minority of voters. Cynicism prevails.
How can we solve this problem? The New Green Alliance would bring in
a system of proportional representation (PR) as exists in New Zealand,
Australia, Scotland, and Wales. This alternative is being pursued now
in BC, Quebec, New Brunswick and P.E.I. It would allow new voices and
policies to be heard.
The legislative process needs to be democratized. Our governments need
to actively seek input from the general public. Confrontation must be
replaced with co-operation.
We need to reduce the power of private interest groups by prohibiting
campaign contributions by
corporations and trade unions. Manitoba and Quebec have done this.
The New Green Alliance is strongly committed to the right of all citizens
to directly participate as equals in the environmental, economic and
political decisions that affect our lives.
We also believe that we must return power and responsibility to our people,
communities and regions. We need a more democratic, decentralized society
where citizens know that their participation is respected and has influence.
PrescriptionDrug Costs Hit People Very Hard
The Prescription Drug Plan
created by Allan Blakeney’s government
has been gutted by funding cuts by the Devine and Romanow Governments.
This has been a disaster for senior citizens and other people with
low and moderate incomes.
A recent Ontario study revealed that low income seniors in Saskatchewan
pay a higher percentage of drug costs than those in any other province.
Seniors receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) paid on average
$460 per year for prescriptions, far higher than any other province.
The second highest was Quebec $3 60. in Saskatchewan today, more than
70% of drug costs are born by the consumer.
The New Green Alliance will restore the funding of the Prescription Drug
Plan to the level it was during the Blakeney Government. We will also
remove the PST from non-prescription drugs.
Why Are Property Taxes So High?
Property taxes have risen steadily over the past 20 years as the Tory
and NDP governments have cut the provincial grants to school boards and
municipalities. The share of provincial funding has fallen from 60% to
The New Green Alliance is committed to restoring the provincial grants
to the 60% level they were under the NDP government of Allan Blakeney.
This can easily be done. It is who has political will.
Education Funding from Property Taxes
Conservation + Renewable Energy = Jobs
A New Policy on Food and Agriculture
There is a clear alternative to the present policy of promoting agribusiness
and industrial agriculture. The New Green Alliance will transfer support
to ecological and organic agriculture. We will actively promote the development
of a food processing and distribution system that is owned and controlled
within the province.
The industrial model of farming is destroying rural Saskatchewan. We
will support family farms, co-op farms, community shared agriculture,
producer co-operatives, and producer controlled marketing boards.
Farm incomes are low because farmers receive a declining share of the
consumer’s dollar. Locally grown food is always better than imported
food. We need a real change of direction in farm policy!
Saskatchewan Needs a New Tax Policy
The three major parties have all put a high priority on cutting corporate
taxes and taxes on those in the highest income brackets. The New Green
Alliance is primarily concerned with the 65% of tax payers who earn less
than $25,000 per year.
The NGA is firmly committed to the good old policy of taxation according
to ability to pay. We also believe that all corporations should pay their
fair share of taxes. The policies of the three major parties primarily
benefits those large corporations who shift their profits out of the
province and the country.
In Saskatchewan we cannot have the social programs we want unless we
get a fair return for the extraction and export of our natural resources.
If we were to restore the taxes and resource royalties to the levels
that they were during the MW government of Allan Blakeney (1971-82),
we would have at least another $1 billion in provincial government revenues.
We can do that.
We have endorsed the Saskatchewan Alternative Budget of Choice. It would
increase revenues and services. The details can be found at their website:
Defend Our Crown Corporations
The New Green Alliance strongly supports the role of Crown corporations.
They provide good paying jobs, contribute to economic growth, are leaders
in technological development, and have provided good services to rural
areas, subsidized in many cases. They are owned by all of us, and they
are controlled by our democratic governments. The profits they make go
to support other services for all of us in Saskatchewan.
The Tory and NDP governments privatized the Potash Corporation. What
was the result? Jobs were cut. Profits now go to U.S. investors instead
of the provincial treasury. PCS now pays lower taxes and royalties. Who
benefits from privatization?
The New Green Alliance opposes the present slow piecemeal privatization
of Sask Power, Sask Tel and Sask Energy. But we also believe that there
is a need to make these Crown utilities more democratic and open in
the way they operate. Reform should be on the agenda..