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Saskatchewan election candidate questions: social services

In the days leading up to the provincial election on Monday, April 4th, we will be publishing the answers to questions posed by 106-1 The Goat to the candidates running in the Lloydminster riding. The responses are listed in alphabetical order and are unedited. They have not been fact-checked and The Goat is not responsible for any errors or inaccuracies.

 

Q:  In difficult economic times, many constituents have lost their jobs and are forced to rely on social services more than ever. In what ways does your party plan to improve upon and/or expand on the current social services available to Lloydminster constituents?

 

 

Lisa Grant, Saskatchewan Green Party

Candidate did not provide responses.

 

Michelle Oleksyn, New Democratic Party of Saskatchewan

A: Many of our important social services have seen either cuts, or year to year funding, making it hard to plan for the future. We have seen what happens with cuts to programs like the Lighthouse Shelter – it’s Brad Wall buying bus tickets for our youth and shipping them to BC. An NDP government would first and foremost work to make life more affordable for everyone, we will:

  • Lower income taxes for 70% of Saskatchewan residents
  • Work towards having the lowest cost utilities of any province in Canada
  • Adopt a housing first policy, which is an important concept that recognizes the importance of stable housing as a starting point for success – Medicine Hat has successfully adopted this.
  • Build 2,500 new affordable and social housing units
  • Introduce a basic income pilot project to explore the possibility of introducing such a program province wide. This guarantees a minimum income for all, and replaces many existing programs, making it cheaper to administer and easier for people to get ahead.We want to build a stronger, kinder, fairer Saskatchewan, and our platform reflects that.

 

Dolores Patayken, Saskatchewan Liberals

Candidate did not provide responses.

 

Colleen Young, Saskatchewan Party

A: An employed and working population is the greatest benefit to a community the economy, and society as a whole. Recognizing that Lloydminster has been hit hard by the lengthy down turn in the oil sector, the Sask. Party wants to still encourage people to work where and when they can and not rely on social assistance. For those that must seek support of social assistance a re-elected Sask. Party government would work to ensure the timely processing of qualifying applicants. Overall, spending has increased 34% in Social Services from $900 million to $1.2 billion in 2015-16.

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