The Wall Government has the audacity to brag about how they are improving public services in this budget, but just last year they cut 25% of the civil service as part of major budget cuts necessitated by Brad Wall's bad fiscal management over the 2009/2010 year, cuts that are still taking place and will continue to cut down our public service for another 9 years. With 15% of the civil service being cut over the next four years, how can Wall possibly be bragging about improving Saskatchewan's public services after his government is the one who has destroyed them? The SaskParty cut $25 million to the Department of Environment's budget last year and this year they brag about how good public services are? Our environment in this province has been deliberately left with inadequate protection by Premier Wall, a move that is common when one is running a corporatocracy instead of a democracy as Wall is doing.
Just like with Harper's federal budget, Wall's budget completely ignores the harsh economic times that many people in Saskatchewan are facing, times that are getting more difficult instead of better. Food prices are rising, way beyond what can be considered an affordable cost for food, and soaring gas prices are putting immense stress on everyday people who are already financially stressed to the max by what many are now calling the 'great recession.' Brad Wall likes to brag about Saskatchewan's growing GDP while ignoring how food bank usage has spiked in our province.
As with the federal budget, social spending is completely inadequate to meet the needs of Saskatchewan people who are struggling, some of whose quality of life is not that far off from third world countries. Why do we allow poverty to run rampant in our province while our Premier boasts about a good quality of living? Brad Wall, as usual, is out of touch with the reality of everyday Saskatchewan citizens. A Green Party of Saskatchewan Government would work to eliminate poverty in our province.
I am disappointed to see that healthcare spending falls far short from what is needed to provide good care to Saskatchewan people. This budget did not provide capital funding for the Moose Jaw Union Hospital, and any promises made by SaskParty MLA for Moose Jaw North Warren Michelson to include the capital funding for the Union Hospital in future budgets is not reliable considering there is a provincial election coming up in only a few months. The Wall Government had four years to make this project happen for Moose Jaw, and they have chosen not to, showing once again that the citizens of Moose Jaw do not take a high enough priority to Brad Wall and the Sask Party.
Wall's budget should have reinstated the universal chiropractic subsidy that Wall eliminated in last year's budget, as this is adding extra stress on our publicly funded healthcare system and is causing many people to live in pain instead of seeking medical treatment from a chiropractor as they used to. As Saskatchewan's first Green Premier, I would ensure that the universal chiropractor subsidy is reinstated and expanded, and I would take measures to create a similar universal subsidy for medical massage therapy. Furthermore, as your Green Premier, I would reinstate the school dental program as the first measure toward including dental services as part of our publicly funded healthcare system.
This budget fails to listen to the needs of students. Holding tuition increases to an average of three percent is not recognizing the extremely stressful economic circumstances post-secondary students in our province are facing. Where are the student loan debt relief programs? Why not provide and funding in this budget to freeze tuition increases and reduce tuition for Saskatchewan students?
This budget really lacks the innovation and sound fiscal management a Green Party of Saskatchewan Government would employ. The Green vision is for an economy that truly offers a good quality of living to all the people in our province. Unlike the Wall Government, we would actually make this happen, and not just give it lip service while turning a blind eye to those whose quality of life this budget does nothing to improve.
The Green Party of Saskatchewan's economic vision for this province is for a Decentralized Renewable Energy Economy, Making Saskatchewan World Leader's in Ecological Agriculture, and Innovating Saskatchewan's Economy through Investment in the Creative Industries. We will eliminate poverty and ensure everyone in our province has good quality affordable housing available to them. A Green Government will restore and protect our publicly funded healthcare system and we will ease the burden on our system through the addition of healthcare methods based on prevention.
The Green Party of Saskatchewan's economic vision is sustainable, for generations to come. Wall's economic vision for a boom to bust Saskatchewan is not the road we would take Saskatchewan down. We have learned from Alberta's mistakes and would not repeat them as Wall is doing.
Saskatchewan urgently needed a budget that would help those who are struggling the most right now in our province, and Wall's budget shows his government remains committed to the interests of corporations over citizens. For example, the slight reduction in the small business tax does very little to address that many small business have been forced to close because of large corporations who Brad Wall has invited and encouraged to come into our province since taking office.