The Saskatchewan NDP’s finance critic says many people in the province are “hanging on by a thread” when it comes to job loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trent Wotherspoon made those comments on Wednesday afternoon after fellow NDP MLA Aleana Young noted during question period how over 23,000 people are unemployed in the province after losing work during the pandemic. He said the lack of a jobs plan from the government’s budget is terrible news.
“We have been pushing hard for actions and measures to create jobs. We were pushing for a comprehensive jobs plan in this budget. That simply isn’t there,” stated Wotherspoon.
Besides a jobs plan, he noted how the removal of the PST off of construction labour and restaurants would have been “extremely stimulative measures to the economy”, which would drive investment and push people back to work.
Wotherspoon also suggested that the government should be keeping opportunities in the province rather than giving those chances to people and organizations outside of Saskatchewan.
“With the Sask. Party time and time again, we see this relentless outsourcing of jobs and money out of province and out of the country,” he said. “We need a Sask. first procurement approach now more than ever to maximize the return for Saskatchewan people.”
Following Young’s statement during question period on Wednesday, Minister of Trade and Export Development Jeremy Harrison said the NDP has no credibility on the topic.
“On the one hand, every question (the NDP) stand up and demand for more spending. Then the member for Regina Rosemont stands up and says ‘you are spending too much’,” Harrison stated. “The members opposite stand up and demand a lockdown to put 80,000 people out of work. The member then stands up at the end and says there is 23,000 people out of work.”
Harrison ended his response by saying voters prefer the Sask. Party to manage the economy through the pandemic based on the fall election’s results.