Saskatchewan

'We are back in black': Sask. finance minister picks black budget shoes

Saskatchewan Finance Minister Donna Harpauer chose black flats as her budget shoes, signalling a balanced budget.

Opposition NDP asks government to be 'on the level', brings a prop of its own

Finance Minister Donna Harpauer's new black flats are pictured next to a copy of the 2019-20 Saskatchewan budget titled The Right Balance. (Matt Howard/CBC)

They were not worn out, fixed up or hand-me-downs. Instead, Saskatchewan Minister of Finance Donna Harpauer chose a new pair of black flats as her budget day shoes.

"We have tightened our belts. We are back in the black. We have a slight surplus. It's the right balance to go the extra mile," said Harpauer on Monday.

"[The shoes] are not pinching at all," Harpauer said with a laugh.

She will deliver her second budget as finance minister on Wednesday afternoon.

The government is calling its 2019-20 budget The Right Balance.

Harpauer told reporters they would find out what exactly that means "in two sleeps".

Last spring, the Humboldt Broncos bus crash of April 6 came just four days before Harpauer, the MLA for Humboldt, delivered her first budget. She cancelled the shoe ritual.

She said this year's budget does not have a "shadow hanging over it," and she's proud to deliver it on behalf of the government.

The government's last financial update forecasted a $348-million deficit. Budget year 2019-2020 is the final year of a three-year, back-to-balance promise from this government.

It announced a $1.2-billion deficit in 2017-18.

NDP critic brings a level

NDP finance critic Trent Wotherspoon showed up to his pre-budget media scrum with a prop of his own: a level.

"We're going to be scrutinizing this budget line by line making sure that the Sask. Party government is on the level with Saskatchewan people when they are calling this budget a so-called balance," Wotherspoon said.

NDP finance critic Trent Wotherspoon holds a level. He is asking the government to be 'on the level' with the people of Saskatchewan. (Matt Howard/CBC)

He said it can't be a balanced budget if Crown corporation debt increases.

"This is a government that failed to get the job done during the best days. Failed to save a dime, squandered a historic opportunity and has left the Saskatchewan people and the economy it should be counting on vulnerable and weakened," Wotherspoon said.

About the Author

Adam Hunter

Journalist

Adam Hunter is the provincial affairs reporter at CBC Saskatchewan, based in Regina. He has been with CBC for 12 years. He hosts the CBC podcast On the Ledge. Follow him on Twitter @AHiddyCBC. Contact him: adam.hunter@cbc.ca

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