Sask. NDP leader says premier lied during campaign about balancing budget by 2024

·2 min read
Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili says Premier Scott Moe should have come clean before the election that the  provincial budget would not be balanced by 2024. (CBC - image credit)
Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili says Premier Scott Moe should have come clean before the election that the provincial budget would not be balanced by 2024. (CBC - image credit)

Saskatchewan's Opposition Leader Ryan Meili says Premier Scott Moe wasn't telling the truth when he spoke before the election about balancing the provincial budget by 2024.

"Throughout the campaign one of [the premier's] key pieces that he was promoting was the idea that he would balance the budget by 2024. He said it over and over again. It was a big part of the debate. But it wasn't true," Meili said.

"It wasn't true then. He knew it wasn't true, but he said it for political reasons. And now when he is going to have to face the music of actually presenting a budget, he is going back on what he originally said."

Moe said Wednesday that the upcoming budget, to be tabled April 6, will not project a balanced budget by 2024-25.

"The minister of finance has indicated that given the variability in revenue numbers that are there today, that we won't have a balance in that four-year projection," Moe said.

During last fall's campaign, Moe promised to get rid of the province's $2-billion deficit by 2024.

Moe said earlier this year when he announced the budget date that his government would "work toward our commitment to balance the budget by 2024."

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says there are too many unknowns on the revenue side of the government ledger to project a balanced budget by 2024.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says there are too many unknowns on the revenue side of the government ledger to project a balanced budget by 2024. (Germain Wilson/CBC)

On Wednesday, Moe told reporters there were too many unknowns on the revenue side of the ledger to be able to project a balanced budget.

"Listen, there's many variabilities that are going into the budget as a COVID pandemic has drawn on I think longer than than people thought that it would," Moe said. "Our vaccine program has drawn out longer than I think most people originally thought it ultimately would."

Moe said that has had an impact on jobs, the provincial economy and provincial revenues.

Meili questioned what has changed in the last few months.

"He knew back then all of that variation," Meili said. "All of these risks existed then, but he was willing to lie because it was an election."