MLAs in Saskatchewan could get back to legislature work before election

REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has laid out the conditions for recalling the legislature after weeks of prodding from the NDP opposition.

Moe says laying out a full budget before MLAs depends on a format being agreed upon by the government and NDP house leaders because of the restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The government held off releasing revenue projections for the fiscal year in March, citing too much uncertainty from the economic shutdown over the virus.

Voters are set to go to the polls for a provincial election this October and the NDP has been pushing for a budget release before then.

Minister of Finance Donna Harpauer has said the government will likely run a deficit, with no immediate plans to cut spending or raise taxes.

NDP leader Ryan Meili says he wants to see a budget presented as soon as possible to apply scrutiny and that making it happen lies solely with the premier.

"The house leaders represent their caucuses, but they don't run them," he said. "This is really a question for the premier."

NDP house leader Cathy Sproule says house leaders would have to sort out the mechanics of keeping members safe and using remote technologies for debates.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2020

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