Council of Cdns. defends STC, opposes Wall's austerity budge

Council of Cdns. defends STC, opposes Wall's austerity budge

Postby Oscar » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:05 pm

The Council of Canadians defends the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, opposes Wall's austerity budget

[ http://canadians.org/blog/council-canad ... ity-budget ]

March 25, 2017 - 7:41 am

The government of Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall intends to close the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, a provincial crown corporation created in 1946 by the CCF government of Tommy Douglas.

CBC reports, "In this week's provincial budget, Finance Minister Kevin Doherty announced STC would be shuttered after more than 70 years of continuous service to some 200 communities. Workers to cancer patients to seniors have expressed outrage."

That article highlights, "University of Regina professors JoAnn Jaffe called STC an essential public service. She doubts a private operator will serve smaller communities or provide anywhere close to the number of jobs that are being eliminated. Fellow University of Regina professor Cindy Hanson said the closure will lead to more pollution and more highway damage if people are forced to drive cars and trucks. The poor, elderly or disabled will simply not be able to travel."

The Saskatchewan Transportation Company's freight service is scheduled to end of May 19 and passenger service is to stop on May 31.

Saskatoon-based Council of Canadians Board member Tracey Mitchell says, "We need to resist this decision and the rest of the terrible decisions in this budget. We elect governments to make decisions about what to do with the resources that we collectively share. When they make grave errors in that process we can and should hold them accountable."

As for those other terrible decisions, the Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives notes:
[ http://behindthenumbers.ca/2017/03/23/s ... al-budget/ ]

• While the government’s budget cuts and tax increases landed disproportionately on the shoulders of the poor, it simultaneously lavished multiple tax breaks on corporations.
• There are the mean-spirited cuts to funeral services for social assistant recipients, that will save the government a mere pittance.
• The government is also reducing the already meagre allowance of social assistance recipients.
• [The government plans] to increase the provincial sales tax [including removing the PST exemption from children's clothing].
• Cuts to libraries will reduce programming and resources that so many people of limited means rely on for both education and leisure.

On that last point, the Regina Leader-Post reports, "For most library districts in the province, provincial funding has been cut between 50 and 60 per cent. The funding decrease will now result in staff cuts and an impact on services to many rural libraries." CTV adds, "The cuts [will also] reduce funds to Saskatoon and Regina libraries by about $1.3 million."

When public transportation, funeral services for the poor, and library services are cut, while corporations receive tax breaks, it becomes clear that austerity is not an economic necessity, it's a political choice.

Mitchell says, "Please look for links about organizing meetings, rallies, and other opportunities to speak up for the things that matter to us."

Further reading

Regina chapter calls on Wall government to reject austerity in its provincial budget (March 21, 2017)

[ http://canadians.org/blog/regina-chapte ... ial-budget ]

Regina chapter slams Wall government's budget (June 2, 2016)
[ http://canadians.org/blog/regina-chapte ... nts-budget ]

#skpoli

Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ http://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
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Re: Council of Cdns. defends STC, opposes Wall's austerity b

Postby Oscar » Wed May 10, 2017 11:10 am

Regina chapter activist travels to regional meeting on soon-to-be shuttered STC bus service

[ https://canadians.org/blog/regina-chapt ... us-service ]

May 6, 2017 - 8:00 pm

(PHOTO: Council of Canadians Regina chapter activist Jim Elliott travelled to our Prairies-Northwest Territories regional meeting in Saskatoon this weekend via a STC bus.)

Yesterday, Elliott posted on Facebook, "I am taking what might be my last trip on an STC bus. It is bitter sweet. I am low income and without someone to take me there or flying, which is even more abhorrent than not going at all, this is likely the last time I will be able to get out of Regina. I do have a bike but it would take me 3 days to get to Saskatoon and 3 days back. This public service and crown corporation must continue. Fight the cuts!!!"

The "STC" refers to the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, a provincial crown corporation created in 1946 by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) government of Tommy Douglas. Its mandate is to provide bus services carrying people and freight between major centres and to as much of the rural population as possible. Its freight service is now scheduled to end of May 19 and its passenger service is to stop on May 31.

On March 24, CBC reported, "In this week's provincial budget, Finance Minister Kevin Doherty announced STC would be shuttered after more than 70 years of continuous service to some 200 communities. Workers to cancer patients to seniors have expressed outrage."

That article highlights, "University of Regina professors JoAnn Jaffe called STC an essential public service. She doubts a private operator will serve smaller communities or provide anywhere close to the number of jobs that are being eliminated. Fellow University of Regina professor Cindy Hanson said the closure will lead to more pollution and more highway damage if people are forced to drive cars and trucks. The poor, elderly or disabled will simply not be able to travel."

Council of Canadians chapters in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and Quill Plains (Wynyard) have been vocal opponents of the provincial budget that was tabled by Premier Brad Wall's government on March 22.

They have also been speaking against Bill 40 (that allows for the privatization of 49 per cent of a Crown corporation without without requiring a vote of support from the people of the province) and Bill 63 (that allows the provincial Minister of Education to give written directions to school boards and force them to take any necessary steps necessary to comply with provincial government direction including how to implement the provincial government's $60 million funding cut to schools).

To sign the petition that calls on the Saskatchewan Party to scrap its plan to sell-off the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, please click here: [ http://www.saskndp.ca/stc ]

#skpoli

Tags: chapters
[ https://canadians.org/tags/chapters ]

Brent Patterson's blog
Political Director of the Council of Canadians
[ https://canadians.org/blogs/brent-patterson ]
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Re: Council of Cdns. defends STC, opposes Wall's austerity b

Postby Oscar » Wed May 10, 2017 11:10 am

Throwing us 'under the bus' . . .

Published in the Wadena News April 17, 2017

So, two weeks after catapulting Saskatchewan back to the 1950s with his draconian March Budget, it's strange that suddenly there's enough money in the government coffers for Mr. Wall to invite Whitecap Resources and a couple of other BIG OIL buddies to move from Calgary to Regina.

To sweeten the pot, CBC tells us that he even offered “to subsidize relocation costs, trim taxes and royalties and help find space in unused government buildings” for them – laying the table as if he'd never heard of his favourite obsession: the billion-dollar deficit!

Wasn't the needless attack on our public transit system, our library system, and our health and education systems enough of a power trip for this government – a government totally void of even a hint of a social conscience – we need to tolerate that insult, too?

Talk about throwing us 'under the bus'!

I shudder to think of what Saskatchewan will look like in three long years . . .

Elaine Hughes
Quill Plains (Wynyard) Chapter
Council of Canadians
ARCHERWILL, SK
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