Provincial election preview

The mighty house of Wall. Photo: Matt Wincherauk

The mighty house of Wall. Photo: Matt Wincherauk

Who do you trust with your education?

Saskatchewan students and residents will head to the polls on April 4 to vote in the provincial election. While the election is only a few months away, no official platforms have yet been released by either party. Prior campaign promises are not always indicative of the platforms to come, but 2011’s election promises can offer insight into where parties have stood historically, and where they may stand when their new official platforms are released.

In 2011, the Saskatchewan Party campaigned largely on the Saskatchewan Advantage scholarship, which provides $2,000 over four years to reduce the cost of university tuition for Saskatchewan students. It also promised to match 10 per cent of RESP contributions up to $250 per year. The Sask. Party also raised the 0.5 per cent budget increase to U of R in 2015, only to ask for the money back in November.

In contrast, the 2011 NDP campaign promised a tuition freeze, and that they would regulate costs to ensure rising university fees would not spiral out of control. The NDP additionally promised to increase the maximum allowable family income when applying for student loans.

The provincial NDP also made promises totaling $5 million to provide more on-reserve and remote classes to Saskatchewan students.

In the popular area of climate change the NDP pledged, in 2011, to expand renewable energy to 50 per cent of Saskatchewan’s total energy usage by 2025, an ambitious goal. In late 2015, the Sask. Party pledged to meet that same target by 2030. Both of these promises would represent a freeze in emissions, as opposed to measures designed around reducing emissions.

For students, the choice will be which party they trust with their education, which party will address the problems popping up at the university including deferred maintenance, and most importantly, which party they trust to deliver them the jobs they will need in the future.

The Carillon is committed to providing U of R students with ongoing coverage of the provincial election campaigns over the coming months. Stay tuned.

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