Provincial election candidates from the Sask. Occasion, Saskatchewan New Democrats, Inexperienced Occasion and Progressive Conservative Occasion spoke about their events’ visions for the province.
The Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce held an online forum on Oct. 15 for all provincial election candidates working in Moose Jaw and requested them questions on rising the tech sector, addressing relationship issues with the federal authorities and supporting small companies in a post-pandemic world.
The contributors included Moose Jaw Wakamow candidates Melissa Patterson (NDP), Darcy Jensen (Progressive Conservatives), incumbent Greg Lawrence (Sask. Occasion) and North Hunter (Inexperienced Occasion), and Moose Jaw North candidates Kyle Lichtenwald (NDP) and Tim McLeod (Sask. Occasion).
The tech sector
The Sask. Occasion would make Saskatchewan the perfect place to function a enterprise and foster financial progress, stated Lawrence. The occasion would cut back the small enterprise tax price to zero per cent from 2.5 per cent, earlier than rising it to at least one per cent after which two per cent. This could save small companies greater than $6,100.
The pandemic has modified how folks work — extra remotely and from house — and has opened up new alternatives, stated Lichtenwald. Nonetheless, he didn’t consider Sask. Occasion chief Scott Moe was fascinated about serving to Moose Jaw households since he had awarded main infrastructure initiatives to out-of-province firms.
The NDP would use Saskatchewan Polytechnic to coach extra college students in info and communications expertise (ICT) and remove curiosity on pupil loans, he added.
“It looks as if Scott Moe shouldn’t be fascinated about discovering modern options (to issues),” stated Patterson, pointing to full emergency rooms, overcrowded school rooms and refusing to offer renters a break in the course of the pandemic as examples. As an alternative, the NDP would hold the tech sector shifting and aggressive and acknowledge overseas credentials.
Moe has offered stable management throughout this time, whereas Saskatchewan has led the nation in job restoration, with 87 per cent of individuals persevering with to work by way of the pandemic, stated McLeod.
“Robust leaders make robust economies (and) robust economies are engaging for funding,” he added.
The PC Occasion would provide a producing tax credit score, stated Jensen, whereas he would promote Moose Jaw as a tech hub metropolis and a super place for everybody.
The Inexperienced Occasion would guarantee everybody — city and rural — has entry to broadband web and that jobs are pushed into rural areas, stated Hunter. The occasion would additionally present a assured fundamental earnings so residents wouldn’t have to fret about minimal wage jobs.
Issues with the federal authorities
Lichtenwald pointed to Ottawa imposing a carbon tax on Saskatchewan as an alternative of the province creating a greenhouse fuel emissions plan as certainly one of Moe’s failures. If elected, the Saskatchewan NDP would develop a made-in-Saskatchewan emissions plan that focuses on wind, photo voltaic and geothermal.
The NDP helps useful resource growth, together with the development of pipelines, stated Patterson. The occasion would guarantee 50 per cent of Saskatchewan’s energy comes from renewals by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2050.
The PC Occasion would exchange the RCMP with a provincial sheriff deputy system just like volunteer hearth departments, stated Jensen. It could additionally repair the equalization components — “which is totally unfair” — by reopening the constitution.
The Sask. Occasion has created a Prairie Resilience Plan to deal with GHG emissions, whereas it has stood up for lawful firearms house owners in opposition to federal overreach, stated McLeod.
“This ineffective carbon tax … does nothing to cut back emissions,” he added. “We have now a plan that will meaningfully assist the atmosphere with out killing jobs and elevating taxes.”
Lawrence refuted Patterson’s discuss pipelines, declaring chief Ryan Meili has spoken at anti-pipeline rallies and favours the carbon tax. Patterson has additionally “appreciated” anti-oil and anti-pipeline feedback made on-line by federal NDP chief Jagmeet Singh.
Petroleum firm Gibson’s Power in Moose Jaw has developed modern expertise to extend manufacturing by 25 per cent and scale back its carbon footprint by 20 per cent, he added. This firm additionally employs native and provincial staff.
Supporting small companies
Patterson criticized the Sask. Occasion for poorly supporting small companies in the course of the pandemic, together with introducing a plan that was too advanced. If elected, the NDP would reinstate start-up loans for small rural companies, present high quality cellphone and web connections for rural companies, and work with small companies on a “Purchase Saskatchewan” marketing campaign.
“We don’t have to simply accept the Scott Moe establishment of cuts,” she added.
The one cuts the Sask. Occasion will make are to energy payments and the small enterprise tax price, stated McLeod. He identified the Sask. Occasion has supported 112,000 low-income households by eradicating them utterly from earnings tax rolls.
Excessive taxes shouldn’t be feared, as nations with the best high quality of life have excessive tax charges, stated Hunter. The Inexperienced Occasion would carry collectively a residents’ meeting and let residents determine how their tax cash is spent. The occasion would additionally put a much bigger tax burden on giant firms and make life simpler for small companies.