“As far as the conversation about the cost of living…we were very clear. We are about 50 days into our budget cycle this year. As we head into the first and second quarters, if natural resource prices continue to strengthen, we will look at how we can cushion that for the people of Saskatchewan,” the Premier said.
Moe wouldn’t specify exactly what that cushion might look like, or when any financial relief from the high cost of gas might be announced. Instead, he suggested the federal government consider carbon tax relief as well.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for us at all levels of government, the federal government in particular, to remove all barriers that further push this fuel tax upwards,” he added.
Prime Minister responds to concerns over school funding
Moe said he was “puzzled” by the news that school divisions in Saskatoon and Regina will start charging lunchtime supervision fees after facing deficits this year, adding that funding for schools has increased.
“There are many reserves in many, if not all, school divisions in the province,” he said.
“These reserves have actually increased over the past few years. Before a school division charges parents extra dollars for lunchtime recess…they should definitely consider using some of the reserves that have grown over the past few years, rather than sending bills to parents.
Asked about the size of these reserves and the sustainability of their drawdown, Moe said that in the long term it would not be sustainable, but this year should be an exception.
“We would ask them to look at this in the short term,” Moe said.
Moe added that school budgets are submitted to the Minister of Education by the end of June and, if necessary, there could be more discussions with individual school divisions at that time.