Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Green Party of Saskatchewan calls for an increase in resource royalties and an end to government subsidies to resource extraction corporations

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release June 16, 2010

The Green Party of Saskatchewan held a press conference in Regina yesterday at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building to put forward policy solutions that will improve the current and long-term economic well being of our province. “The current pace of resource extraction in Saskatchewan is neither economically nor environmentally sustainable and is leaving nothing behind for future generations who will live here,” stated Larissa Shasko, Leader of the Green Party of Saskatchewan. “We take for granted that the generations of people who lived here before us left a wealth of resources in the ground. Our province is not a treasure to be ransacked. We have to think about the economic well-being of future generations, otherwise we will rob our province and its people of a secure future.”

The Green Party of Saskatchewan is calling on the Wall Government to raise royalties to ensure a greater share of the wealth generated from resource extraction that happens today will be preserved for future generations. According to Green Party of Saskatchewan Deputy Leader, Billy Patterson, "We must learn from the mistakes of Alberta and follow the example of countries like Norway." Alberta decreased royalties and regulations to the point that their natural resources were pillaged by private corporations, and the pay-off seems to have worn off after a $700 payout to every man, woman, and child. Norway on the other hand put its royalty revenues into an untouchable 'rainy day' fund. Norway's ability to tap into this revenue allowed it's currency, the kroner, to be the most stable in the world during the past few years of global economic recession. Both Norway and Canada have economies very heavily tied into domestic oil supply. The main difference between these petro-dollar economies is that the Norwegians know not to give it all away to private-interest corporations.

The Saskatchewan Greens are also calling on the Wall Government to eliminate government subsidies to resource extraction corporations. “These are for profit corporations; they do not need the public purse to turn a profit,” said Shasko. “We need to subsidize daycare, not resource extraction,” Shasko continued. The Green Party of Saskatchewan is calling on the Wall Government to take the millions of dollars saved by eliminating these corporate subsidies and reinvest it into a Guaranteed Livable Income. The Saskatchewan Greens would like to see a priority start of the program targeting the most vulnerable sectors of our province. Post-secondary students, seniors, people with disabilities, single mothers, parents who wish to be able to stay home with their children for the first five years, and parents and caregiver's of people with special needs. “The Guaranteed Livable Income will rejuvenate our economy at the local level and eliminate poverty for a number of children, mothers, seniors, students, and people with disabilities in Saskatchewan,” states Shasko.

This press conference is the first of a series of press conferences the Green Party of Saskatchewan will be holding this summer to put forward policy solutions that they would like to see implemented in the fall sitting of the Legislature.

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