Provincial government economic response to Covid-19: A day late and a dollar short
In a health and economic crisis governments should put special effort into helping the most vulnerable populations. Has the Saskatchewan government followed this humanitarian guideline? Unfortunately, to date it has not.
Poverty Free Saskatchewan (PFS) is calling on the government to take immediate action to provide much better support for our vulnerable citizens, as in most cases federal government subsidies do not target these populations.
- Saskatchewan Income Support benefits were miserably low going into the crisis and their buying power is even less in the difficult conditions created by the Covid-19 shut down. The Saskatchewan government should immediately top up all of its programs targeting vulnerable populations. British Columbia is providing an additional $300 per month for three months for those who cannot access the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit program.
- Saskatchewan has not increased its minimum wage and it is the lowest in Canada. It’s time to support low paid frontline workers facing the daily the risk of Covid-19.
- Saskatchewan has not significantly increased funding for food banks and other food security programs such as REACH and Carmichael Outreach. British Columbia has provided an additional three million dollars for its food banks.
- Homeless centres require additional new spaces for the homeless to self-isolate. Sask.’s small increase in hotel and social housing units for the homeless is insufficient.
- Saskatchewan has not topped up the Guaranteed Income Supplement received by seniors with the lowest income. British Columbia is paying those seniors an additional $300 per month for three months.
- Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable northern communities require specialized and immediate support.
Contact the Hon. Paul Merriman (306) 787-3661 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know that it’s time for the government to step up and support our front line workers and vulnerable populations.