The first official week of campaigning is now in the books and the election is in full swing. As recent polling has shown, this will be a two-party race, therefore our Insights will focus mainly on the Saskatchewan Party (Sask Party) and the Saskatchewan New Democrats (NDP).
The Sask Party messaging is about a “Strong Saskatchewan.” Their platform will “drive Saskatchewan’s economic recovery and create jobs” and they plan to see the provincial budget return to balance by 2024. Election promises so far include:
- Introduce a new Saskatchewan Home Renovation Tax Credit – homeowners will be able to claim a 10.5 per cent tax credit on up to $20,000 of eligible home renovation expenses incurred between October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2022, saving them up to $2100.
- Introduce a one-year 10 per cent rebate on electricity charges on power bills for all SaskPower customers.
- Introduce a three-year reduction to the small business tax rate.
- Increase the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship by 50 per cent from $500 to $750 per year.
- Restart the Active Families Benefit of $150 per year per child and providing families of children with a disability an additional $50, for a benefit of $200 per year per child.
- Create 750 new childcare spaces in Saskatchewan by increasing the number of childcare spaces in new schools under development and increasing financial support to grow over 500 new licensed home-based childcare spaces over the next four years.
The NDP have taken a “people first” approach to their campaign messaging. Announcements over the past week include:
- Bring tax fairness to Saskatchewan by introducing a wealth tax of 1% on those with net worth of over $15 million.
- Build a new bridge and a new hospital for Prince Albert.
- Commit to making $125 million available to address over-crowded classrooms. This funding could fund 1,000 teachers, 750 educational assistants, and 400 caretakers. Also, a commitment to form a Rural Education Task Force to work with teachers, parents, and local leadership to identify needs in rural schools and use the $3 million commitment to make targeted investments in services.
- Call a public inquiry into the Global Transportation Hub and Regina Bypass scandals.
- Introduce stronger conflict of interest rules for MLAs.
- Close the lobbyist registry loophole and require all lobbying to be made public.
- End the influence of big money in Saskatchewan politics by banning corporate and union donations and bringing in a cap on individual donations.
NEW CANDIDATE FOR THE SASK PARTY
The Sask Party dealt with some controversy over the weekend. The candidate for Saskatoon Eastview, Daryl Cooper, resigned on Saturday after now-deleted social media posts and interactions linked to far-right conspiracy group QAnon surfaced online. By Sunday, the Sask Party appointed a new candidate to represent Saskatoon Eastview – Chris Guérette. Guérette is the current CEO of the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders’ Association (SRHBA) and has over 15 years of leadership experience in the housing, not-for-profit, health and education fields.
Another Sask Party candidate, Alex Nau, apologized over the weekend for inappropriate behaviour that he says was disrespectful to women. Nau, who is running in Regina Rosemont, was quoted in a 2016 Leader-Post article detailing a “wheel of fun” game at Country Thunder. The Sask Party says Nau will not be removed from the party for his behaviour, calling it “juvenile” in a statement sent to the media.
NDP CANDIDATE COMMENTS ON OIL INDUSTRY
The Sask Party called out Regina Elphinstone-Centre NDP candidate Meara Conway on Monday for comments made on social media that they say are anti-oil and agriculture and anti-the Saskatchewan economy. Sask Party Leader Scott Moe called on NDP Leader Ryan Meili to answer whether he stands with his anti-oil candidate or whether he stands with Saskatchewan people. Meili said Conway’s comments are not the policy of the Saskatchewan NDP and the NDP support the energy industry in the province.
The NDP are promoting the fact that 28 of their candidates are female. If elected, they have committed to enacting pay equity legislation to close the gap that leaves women earning $0.85 on average for every dollar men earn, as well as banning dress codes that make women less safe at work, including mandatory high heel policies.
The 2020 provincial election leaders’ debate will be held on Wednesday, October 14 from 6:05-7:00 p.m.
The debate will be between Sask Party Leader Scott Moe and NDP Leader Ryan Meili and will be moderated by Molly Thomas, a former CTV reporter and anchor in Regina who is now in Ottawa with CTV’s W5 as an investigative correspondent.
Moe and Meili will take questions from a panel of journalists: CBC’s Adam Hunter, Global’s Allison Bamford, Postmedia’s Murray Mandryk, and Vanier Scholar Merelda Fiddler.
The debate will be televised by a media consortium that includes CBC, CTV, Global and Postmedia.
WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT WEEK
The parties’ full platforms are expected to be released in the coming weeks, with smaller announcements made along the way. The Sask Party has committed to fully costing each announcement they make, whereas the NDP have not yet included costing information with their announcements.