(31 March 2010)
Positive Views For Budget
A week has passed since our government announced a third consecutive balanced budget. Spending is down, the debt will be maintained at $4.1 billion and there’s a surplus. This forward-looking fiscal plan contains the largest-ever health budget in Saskatchewan’s history. The 2010-11 budget is balanced and responsible.
The reviews of the budget have been very positive.
Meyers, Norris, Penny says, “On a scale of one to ten, I’m going to give [the Saskatchewan Party Government] an eight on this budget … it’s a balanced budget … they’re committed to the philosophy that they realize that healthcare spending is required but it must be done responsibly… they’re attempting to minimize growth in tuition fees … there’s something for both the primary school and the post secondary schools in this budget.”
The budget also contains $2.5 million in new funding for autism services. Theres Savaria, with the Autism Care Centre, said, “It's the most exciting day of my life. I have been here for 20 years, and there's a huge recognition of the needs of children and their families, and we're going to provide something that has been needed for a long time.”
Improving Surgical Care
One of the initiatives funded by this budget is our plan to improve surgical care. Titled Sooner, Safer, Smarter: A Plan to Transform the Surgical Patient Experience, the plan also calls for:
- 3,000 additional surgeries
- 2,500 additional CT scans
- Renovations to enhance operating rooms and post-operative bed capacity
- Implementation and expansion of an electronic Surgical Information System
- Numerous system improvements initiatives identified in the plan
Our government has ambitious goals, not only to achieve short wait times, but to make fundamental improvements to surgical care from the patient's first visit to a family doctor to their rehabilitation and recovery. The health of Saskatchewan families comes first.
Extending Gopher Control Rebate
And while Gainer the Gopher has captured the hearts of people across Saskatchewan. The rest of the gopher population however, isn’t nearly as lovable. In fact, farmers and communities in rural Saskatchewan consider these animals’ pests. With that in mind, our government is taking action to help producers control the gopher population. We are extending the Gopher Control Rebate Program for the rest of the 2010. Producers and rural municipalities will continue to receive a 50 per cent rebate on the cost of gopher control products. Plus, our government officially declared the gopher a pest under the Pest Control Act. This new title will give RMs the option through bylaws, to enforce prevention and control measures. Our government will continue providing support for gopher control through Crop Insurance compensation and research funding.
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