(18 December 2012)
Only Balanced Budget in Canada
Saskatchewan remains the only province in Canada with a balanced budget.
The 2012-13 Mid-Year Report shows that our growing tax base and increased tax revenue are strong enough to offset lower than expected resource revenue. Our government's continued support for communities experiencing flood damage and other increased costs has resulted in a spending increase of $31.6 million, pushing the total budget to $11.23 billion.
With B.C. announcing a possible deficit of $1.5 billion by year-end, and Alberta running a deficit of $2.3 billion or more, our province remains the only deficit-free province in Canada. Even when resource revenue is down, Saskatchewan's diverse economy provides economic stability. This allows us to continue to use the benefits to growth to improve the quality of life for everyone.
An example of this is improving is timely access to health care. For the past several months, specialists across the province have been taking part in what’s called a “pooled referral” process. Pooled referrals allow patients to either see the first available specialist or wait to see one of their choice. To facilitate that process, our government recently announced Referral Management Services, an agency that will match patient referrals with the specialist that has the shortest wait times. This common sense approach means people see a specialist sooner, resulting in a diagnosis and treatment plan much more quickly. For example, pooled referrals in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region have reduced the average wait time for a gynecology appointment five months ago by almost half – from 44 to 24 days. For more information, go to http://www.health.gov.sk.ca/pooled-referrals.
Past MLA Reports