Saskatchewan

Sask. Party promises temporary tax cut for small business, NDP commits to equality measures

On the fifth day of election campaigning, the NDP laid out its commitments to equality for women in Saskatchewan, while the Sask. Party said it will offer a temporary cut on the small business tax rate if re-elected.

Sask. Party, NDP lay out different commitments during 1st weekend of official campaigning

On Saturday, the Saskatchewan NDP highlighted its female candidates and outlined how it would work toward equality for women in the province, should the party win the Oct. 26 election. (Bryan Eneas/CBC)

As the provincial election campaign reaches its fifth day, both the Saskatchewan Party and the NDP laid out different commitments in their bids to voters. 

In Regina, the NDP offered two ideas the party said it would introduce to ensure equality for women in Saskatchewan, should they form government after the Oct. 26 vote. 

"We're all here today because we believe that Saskatchewan women are ready for change," NDP Regina Lakeview candidate Carla Beck said.

"We're here because we're hearing on the doorstep concerns that Scott Moe's government simply does not prioritize women and their families."

Among the promises made on Saturday were commitments to introduce pay-equity legislation and legislation to ban dress codes in businesses.

Nicole Sarauer, the NDP's Regina Douglas Park candidate, announced the party's plan to ban dress codes, which she said would make women feel safer in the workplace. She cited restaurant requirements for staff to wear high heels as an example of a safety threat women face. 

Carla Beck, the NDP's candidate for the Regina Lakeview constituency, shared her fellow candidates' success stories as the party committed to a variety of measures focused on equality for women in Saskatchewan. (Bryan Eneas/CBC)

Sarauer also said the NDP would look at introducing a pay-equity legislation, following in the footsteps of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.

"We would model our legislation similar to what already exists in Ontario. It seems to be working fairly well," Sarauer said, adding the legislation would also create ways for employees to report inequitable treatment.

Sarauer also said she's also hearing calls on people's doorsteps for more women in the legislature. 

"People are very excited when they hear about the number of women candidates that we have," she said. 

"Saskatchewan people see the benefit … having a diverse slate of legislators would have for them, addressing their issues." 

An NDP press release issued on Saturday also said the party would introduce $25 a day child care and increase the number of licensed child-care spaces by 50 per cent. 

The party also committed to restoring the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, which the release said provided life-saving transportation for rural women escaping domestic violence.

Sask. Party visits Gateway to the North

In Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe announced he would reduce the small-business tax rate for the next three years, should his party be re-elected on Oct. 26.

Moe committed to reducing that rate from two per cent to zero per cent, retroactive to Oct. 1, 2020. On July 1, 2022, the rate would increase to one per cent, and then back to two per cent in 2023.

"That's an average savings of about $6,100 per small business, and I would expect most of that money will be reinvested back into the business, helping to drive Saskatchewan's economic recovery," Moe said.

Sask. Party Leader Scott Moe says his party would temporarily eliminate the small business tax, before gradually reintroducing it, as one way to help the provincial economy recover. (Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press)

The move could also make doing business in the province more appealing, Moe said, due to the combination of low small business taxes and high business income tax thresholds that would exist in Saskatchewan.

The tax rate reduction would affect 31,000 small businesses in Saskatchewan, he said, and would act as another COVID-19 pandemic recovery measure. The program would cost $189 million over four fiscal years, Moe said.

The tax break contributes to the Sask. Party's growth plan, he said, in that it would allow small businesses an opportunity to create more jobs and contribute to a strong Saskatchewan economy. 

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