Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:24

Saskatchewan’s budget is cruel

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The recent provincial budget is brutal and heartless with total disregard for the citizens of Saskatchewan.
Cuts to educational funding, cuts to programs and services for autistic children. Cuts to libraries. The incentive program to keep doctors in rural areas has been cut. People on social assistance will no longer have their funeral costs paid for. The dissolution of the Saskatchewan Hearing Aid Plan. The elimination of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company. The list goes on and on.
STC was established in 1946 by Tommy Douglas as a service for the people. 
Douglas was a visionary, a man ahead of his time. He believed his mandate was to make life better for his people. The Sask Party, under the leadership of Brad Wall, is the complete antithesis of this mentality.
STC was never expected to produce revenue. It is a service that helps to alleviate the isolation of many of our small towns. The buses are not always full, but they are being used. Consider for a minute the single mother sending her son to visit her father on a regular basis, the cancer patient travelling for treatment, students travelling between home and school, the elderly with appointments in the major cities, and people who don’t drive because of financial or physical reasons.
The money they are saving by denying these people their rights, is 1/10 of one percent of the budget. This is outrageous considering the Sask Party election platform promised never to sell the Crowns.
How is it possible to sell something that doesn’t belong to you?  The Crowns belong to the people of this province. If you pay attention to the news, you can see SGI is next.
As the mother of a deaf daughter, I can assure you the Saskatchewan Hearing Aid Plan is an invaluable service. Hearing aids can be purchased at the more reasonable price and paid by installments with no interest.
Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
The budget is a major step backwards for a society known for protecting the rights and dignity of all its citizens, not just the chosen few. This budget has targeted the financially and physically vulnerable in our society. If your family has not been personally affected by this budget, then consider you are one of the lucky few, but we can’t just stand by and watch everything that makes our province and our country so remarkable slip away.
We, the people, have the power to stop these cuts and change the direction of our future. Once these services are gone, we will never get them back.
Phone your MLA. Hand out flyers. Sign a petition. Contact any of the above mentioned and donate an hour of your time. If you wish to find more information on what is happening in our province, google “Stop the Cuts SK” to find petitions and events happening around you.
 Together, we can make a difference. As the late, great John Lennon once said: “Power to the people.”
Susan Eva, Saskatoon

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