Tuesday, October 20, 2020

On negative contributions

I've previously noted how the Saskatchewan Party's platform diverts money to the people who need it least. But it's worth taking a closer look to see exactly how little Scott Moe is willing to put into even his supposed priorities when one examines how much of the Sask Party's plan consists of federal funds.

In 2017, the federal and provincial governments reached an agreement on funding for home/community care and mental health and addictions services, including the following chart of estimated federal funding in those areas:

So how does that compare to the Sask Party's budget and platform? 

On paper, its largest planned investment in any social program is $18.4 million annually starting in 2021 for home care and long term care aides. But keen-eyed observers will note that their campaign promise is less than what the federal government has already promised to contribute to the cause.

And mental health and addictions offer an even more stark picture. 

The costed items in the Saskatchewan Party's platform include a grand total of zero in new investment. And its attempt to take credit for past actions again includes less in funding for services than the amount provided by the federal government: barely $11 million in new funding for 2020-2021, and the continuation of under $4 million aimed at mental health supports in Northern Saskatchewan in particular.

The description of past actions tries to gloss over those failures by claiming capital and other expenses as mental health funding - including the new North Battleford hospital, which is hardly anything to be bragging about.

In sum, when it comes to actually providing services, Scott Moe is trying to claim credit for passing along less than the province is receiving from the federal government. And that dishonesty about who's paying for systems which are already failing in advance of an election offers nothing but reason for concern about what will happen if Moe stays in power.

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