NDP pleased with some elements of government’s growth plan

Meili hoping for more focus on technological innovation, renewable energy

Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili speaks at the party's annual convention on Nov. 2, 2019 in Prince Albert. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

NDP leader Ryan Meili praised some elements of the provincial government’s ten-year growth plan but found other elements of the document to be lacking.

“The overall idea of growing the population … is a positive one,” he said.

“We want to see the country continue to grow and the province continue to grow. What I’m concerned about … is about making sure people’s lives are good in the province.”

Meili said he would have liked to see goals such as ensuring the best health outcomes in the county, but acknowledged that some elements of a ten-year growth plan developed by the  Saskatchewan NDP would be similar.

He said he would have liked to see more about growing the tech sector, and called for a restoration of cancelled tax incentives for the film and cultural sector. He also wanted to see more of an emphasis on using the province’s vast expanses of land to generate renewable energy such as solar, wind and biomass.

An NDP plan, he said, “would also see a larger focus on building up Saskatchewan companies and Saskatchewan workers

“The other thing that was really missing … is making sure we’re including everyone in our economy. We was no action or promise of any action to reduce (poverty) and allow everyone (to) benefit from whatever growth occurs.”

Meili said opening international trade offices was a good idea and supported the idea of increasing the value-added side of Saskatchewan’s economy, which would see more produced products, as opposed to raw materials, leaving the province.

His other concern was the lack of any forecasting as to the future of natural resource prices since the plan leans heavily on increasing the number and value of Saskatchewan’s exports. He would have liked to see evidence available from economic markets and experts.

“I would like to see the understanding that prices re beyond our control and making the wisest choices to make us resilient” in the case that revenues fall, he said.