Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe made sure Humboldt was on his list for his recent summer barbecue tour across the province with a stop in to talk to constituents on Aug. 1.
Moe wanted to say thank you to the constituents for their years of support but wanted to give a special thanks to the people of Humboldt and area; thank you for embodying the meaning of strength.
“The strength of this community, of your hockey team, of all those involved here over the last couple of months has certainly been something that other communities, other families across this province and across this nation have drawn on...That’s been told to me by all of the premiers across Canada (and) the Prime Minister.”
Local MLAs also made the trip into Humboldt, including Humboldt-Watrous MLA and Minister of Finance, Donna Harpauer.
It is always a thrill to have the premier in Humboldt, she says, especially given the fact that Harpauer supported Moe for the leadership of the party back in January.
“I’ve known Scott Moe for a lot of years now and it was no surprise that I was supporting his leadership and I think he’s doing a great job.”
With Harpauer taking over the position of minister of finance back in August 2017, she will be delivering her second budget in March with preparations soon underway, she says.
“The next budget is our third year and we’ll start building that in September. That will be the third year to get back to balanced and I hope we stay on track. It does look really good but controlling spending is going to be a huge part of it.”
Moe is confident in next year’s budget, he says, with much to do with Harpauer’s role as minister of finance.
“We’re on track to balance that budget plan, in many ways, due to the leadership that we have from Harpauer,” says Moe.
MLAs Todd Goudy, Fred Bradshaw, Terry Dennis, Eric Olauson, and Delbert Kirsch also were in the crowd to support the premier in his tour of the area.
It is their input that keeps the party going, says Moe.
“For us, as we represent (the constituents), we make decisions on their behalf. As I always say, we just try to continue to make as many good and positive decisions as we can. The odd time we have to back up and change one or two of those.”
Constituents also had the opportunity to speak with the premier and the MLAs regarding issues Saskatchewan people are facing right now. That includes things like carbon tax and healthcare and education funding.
Moe has found a strong ally in recent months with the election of Ontario premier, Doug Ford.
Ford ran on a clear election platform of no to federal carbon tax and cap-and-trade that is being pushed through care of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Ontario people elected him on that basis, says Moe.
“The federal government is admitting their made in Ottawa carbon tax scheme essentially does have an impact on the Canadian economy.
We’ve been saying that for two years.”
Saskatchewan industries, including agriculture have been looking into innovations that will reduce carbon emissions and are exporting innovations across the world, Moe says, and that is something the Prime Minister needs to take into account when looking into carbon tax alternatives and carbon sequestration in the agriculture sector.
“We have a great story to tell here in our plan of prairie resilience. It’s an incredible story and it’s one that should be accepted by the federal government as they set their flawed federal carbon tax policy aside.”
Looking ahead to the coming year, given the challenging budget coming in 2019; the third year in a three year plan for a balanced budget, the government needs to remember those core services, like education and healthcare, “in our communities and within an accessible distance that people expect in this province,” says Moe.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe on…
“In this province; and I think Premier (Doug) Ford would likely advocate for this as well, they should go the next step and remove the carbon tax across the nation, re-engage with the provinces across this nation as this conversation started, and look at the plans that have been put forward by the province of Saskatchewan for instances.”
“We have to continue to engage with the federal government and our trading partners all around the world to ensure that we have a) good and strong free and fair trade agreements with countries all around the world, b) the opportunity to get the products we have here in the province to port and to those countries, over the rails and through pipelines; we will always advocate for increased capacity for those products, and c) we need to ensure we are able to enhance and preserve the competitive and sustainable operating environment that we have for the industries that operate and employ people in this community and communities across the province.”
We invested and we invested very heavily in this past year in our frontline classrooms across the province, including in Humboldt. We talked to educators and parents across the province and what we heard is we need some supports in the classroom, in particular in those primary grades and we need supports for those teachers to give our children, our next generation, every opportunity to succeed.”