Getting Big Money Out of Politics

NDP vote in favour of getting big money out of politics

Sask. Party content to allow out of province corporations to influence Saskatchewan elections 

Saskatchewan’s outdated campaign finance laws have made this province the “wild west” of election fundraising, and despite the proposition of a bill by the NDP that is common sense and would bring the province’s laws in line with the rest of the country, the Sask. Party voted for more of the same.

“Our province has long had broken campaign finance laws that allow unlimited out-of-province donations, and the people of Saskatchewan have been calling for change,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “It’s disappointing that the Sask. Party want to continue to allow the election process in Saskatchewan to be influenced by large corporations, when it should belong to the people of the province.”

Saskatchewan is one of the few provinces that still allows corporations, unions, organizations and out-of-provinces companies to donate unlimited contributions to political parties. The NDP has listened to Saskatchewan residents’ concerns and put forward Bill 606 – The Election (Fairness and Accountability) Amendment Act. However, the Sask. Party voted against it.

Over the past 10 years, the Sask. Party has received $12.61 million in corporate donations and, of that, $2.87 million has come from companies outside the province.

This bill would have banned corporate and union contributions to political parties. It would also have restricted personal contributions so that only individuals who are residents of Saskatchewan can donate and those donations would be capped at $1,275.

“The Sask. Party seems content to stick to the status quo. By refusing to change these outdated laws, they are harming democracy and showing their true colours,” said NDP Ethics and Democracy Critic David Forbes. “Our campaign finance laws are the worst in the country and, under the Sask. Party, we’re actually falling further behind. Our proposal is common sense, is fair and ensures that Saskatchewan politics stay in the hands of Saskatchewan people.”

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Thanks for stopping in at my website!  The fall session in the Saskatchewan Legislature has now concluded. The Speech from the Throne was filled with “old news and old noise” instead of concrete plans to create jobs, restore funding to schools, or work towards better health outcomes for Saskatchewan people.

Our leader Ryan Meili and the Saskatchewan NDP caucus team were looking for some admission of the damage done by recent government choices whether it’s the PST hikes, the ongoing mishandling of the GTH or general lack of transparency. Unfortunately, we heard no accountability or admission of wrongdoing from the Sask. Party government.

We know that Scott Moe and the Sask. Party’s cuts and underfunding of the things that matter have hurt people and our long-term prosperity. As New Democrats we will continue working hard to hold them to account and renew Saskatchewan with good jobs, good public education and smart social investments.

We are happy to see some focus on income assistance and mental health, but we will be holding the government to account to ensure they deliver on their promises, as all too often the Sask. Party talks about taking action but fails to deliver.

My colleagues and I introduced bills calling for paid leave for survivors of domestic violence, the development of a suicide prevention strategy, the minimum wage to go from the second lowest in the country to $15 per hour over the next few years, and the closure of a loophole that would deny two Saskatchewan constituencies representation in the legislature for over a year.

I am honoured to be newly appointed as critic for Parks, Culture & Sport; Tourism Saskatchewan as well as having the Ethics & Democracy portfolio and Human Rights, Equality and Diversity portfolio.

 

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