The Government of Saskatchewan is projecting a total $365 million deficit, according to Saskatchewan Finance Minister Donna Harpauer.
The budget announced Tuesday, is said to be on track to meet the province’s three-year promise to balance the books with a modest $6 million surplus in 2019. The budget forecasts revenue of $14.24 billion and forecasted spending of $14.61 billion.
The budget is focused on a variety of things, including education with the provinces 27 school divisions receiving $1.87 billion in school operating funds for 2018-2019 school year. There will also be an additional $2.5 billion for the Ministry of Education that supports Prekindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms, child care and literacy.
“The success of Saskatchewan students continues to be a top priority of our government,” Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “Education provides children with the foundation they need to pursue their dreams and achieve their full potential.”
Healthcare is also a key part of the budget with $3.5 billion going to the Saskatchewan Health Authority, $284 million being spent on mental health services and a projected total spending of $5.77 billion in health.
The social services budget is increasing by $25 million to $1.38 billion, with $10.4 million going to community-based organizations.
Highways in the province will see the government investing $924 million as part of the infrastructure budget, with $51 million going towards major safety projects. Highways and Infrastructure Minister David Marit says more than $3.0 billion has been invested into highways and infrastructure over the last three years.
Harpauer says that this budget contains no carbon tax. It also does not take into account revenue from cannabis sales this year.