I should canvas Murray Mandryk or Steffani Langenegger on this, but I’d be interested in knowing how many times the Sask. Party has employed the Friday afternoon news dump dodge when they want to disclose something that reflects negatively on them.
They did it again on Feb. 15 (the day after Valentine’s Day, and heading into a long weekend) when they released a third quarter budget update. Because of overly optimistic revenue projections for oil and potash, the government, in the words of the NDP opposition, had “raided the Crowns, drained the rainy day fund and made cuts to programs in order to manipulate its books”.
Today at 2 p.m. Saskatchewan Finance Minister Ken Krawetz will rise in the Legislature to deliver the 2013-14 provincial budget. Will this be the year when health spending breaks the $5 billion barrier, I wonder? What will be the increase for cash-strapped universities? They’ve been advised to prepare budgets for two and zero per cent scenarios. Will the province revise the revenue sharing formula that currently sees rural areas, with 46 per cent of the population, receive 60 per cent of the funding? (actually, the government answered that one a little early with sort of a 50-50 compromise with more money per capita for cities but still some extra allocated to RMs for transportation infrastructure and whatnot). How much coin will the government provide to Creative Saskatchewan, the agency that it’s proposing to establish to provide marketing and production support to the creative industries?
All these and many other scintillating questions will be answered by Krawetz in his budget address. Once the embargo lifts at 2:15 p.m. we’ll provide some coverage of what the government’s plans are.
To play us out here’s video of AC/DC performing “Money Talks”: