Saskatchewan’s finance minister hints province won’t eliminate deficit by 2024 News Staff

REGINA — Saskatchewan’s finance minister says it’s going to be tough to eliminate the province’s deficit by 2024 and the government is likely to pick a new goal. 

Donna Harpauer says the province’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is going slower than hoped.

During last fall’s provincial election, Premier Scott Moe campaigned on a promise to eliminate Saskatchewan’s $2-billion deficit by 2024. 

He also promised it wouldn’t happen through increasing taxes or slashing services.

Harpauer says the Saskatchewan Party government believes in having a plan for eliminating the deficit, but it won’t make irresponsible cuts to meet its goal.

She says with a slower economic recovery, it’s going to be “very, very difficult” to get back to balance by 2024. 

Harpauer says more will be said about the deficit when the 2021-22 budget is presented April 6.

“We still haven’t taken in our final projections, so I guess there’s a faint hope,” she told The Canadian Press on Monday. 

“The way the projections are coming in, in all good likelihood, we’ll have to change that goalpost.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021

The Canadian Press

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