In March of this year Saskatchewan Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer said in his budget announcement, "This budget is designed to keep Saskatchewan's economy strong and steady in the face of the current global economic crisis. We will do so by delivering significant property tax relief, by delivering another $1 billion to build provincial infrastructure, and most importantly, by delivering a balanced budget."
We have been cautious in our revenue forecasts due to the high degree of uncertainty in today's economy and commodity price forecasts"
Here we are in August and Gantefoer is saying that at this point Saskatchewan is projecting a $1.3 billion drop in potash revenues and that the recession has hit Saskatchewan.
Come on Rod the potash industry was not so much an engine driving the Saskatchewan economy as they were a convenient cash cow. They were not creating jobs. In fact, the potash industry laid off scores of employees in the spring when they cut back production in an effort to create a phony shortfall in the market to drive prices up. Any fool should have been able to see that the industry simply was not in the good shape we were told.
The Saskatchewan Party has been operating with their heads in the sand for some time now trying to ride a economic wave which was pretty phony to begin with. The so called boom was a big help in some areas but did very little in others. For example, hundreds of students looking for summer employment went looking for jobs that just weren’t there.
Funny isn't it, this government announcement the same day that the news tells us that European countries have come out of the recession.
To deal with the shortfall the government says it will take a $185 million dividend from the Crown Investments Corporation and delay funding the Children's Hospital in Saskatoon and some schools.
Hey, what about that domed stadium Rod?