Saskatchewan 2020 – Platform Comparisons

This year’s election offers voters an opportunity to ensure that Saskatchewan is guided by leaders who will provide practical and efficient leadership with the good of all in mind – including the unborn, the elderly, the young, families, and those who are too often forgotten by society – as well as workers, farmers, business owners, and all future generations.

Catholics are called to participate in accordance with the full measure of talents entrusted to them by God. At a minimum, this means voting wisely, after having considered all relevant issues, the positions of each of the candidates and parties, and relevant Church teachings; and after having prayed for guidance.

This page provides our summary of issues relevant to this year’s election, along with relevant Catholic teachings and the positions of the parties, using the parties’ own words.  This summary should help you in deciding your vote, whether you are Catholic or simply a good person interested in a better world.  

Our party platform comparisons are based on official publications of the registered parties, and any communications provided by the parties directly to Catholic Conscience, as of October 10, 2020.  We will update these materials  as best we can as the elections approach.  Voters are in all cases encouraged to review the websites, platforms, and other materials published by the parties, and to speak directly to the parties and their candidates.   Parties having questions or suggestions for the improvement of these comparisons are invited to contact us at info@CatholicConscience.org.

Life & Human Dignity

The Sanctity of Life:  from Conception to Natural Death

The right to life from conception to natural death is the foundation of all Catholic Social Teaching. It implies that every form of procured abortion and euthanasia is illicit.  – 155, Compendium of of the Social Doctrine of the Church

“This is not something subject to alleged reforms or ‘modernizations.’ It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.” – Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 214

The Dignity of Work

Work is an essential expression of the person… Any form of materialism or economic tenet that tries to reduce the worker to being a mere instrument of production, a simple labour force with an exclusively material value, would hopelessly distort the essence of work and strip it of its most noble and basic human quality.   – 271-274, Compendium of of the Social Doctrine of the Church

The sanctity of life matters to Catholics because the purpose of this life is for each soul God chooses to send into the world to seek its way back to God.  Terminating a life voluntarily at any time after its conception necessarily defeats the purpose of its creation.

The source of human dignity is the likeness to God that is bestowed on each of us at the moment we are conceived. We respond appropriately to this gift by using all the time, talent, and treasure that God has entrusted to us to seek and grow closer to God, by sharing in His continuing act of creation and caring for those around us.  Our first purpose is to seek God, especially in one another.  If we do that, everything else will be given to us. Anything that interferes with that is contrary to the Word of God.  Genesis chapter 1; Matthew chapters 6, 22 & 25

Among human rights acknowledged by the Church are “the right to life, an integral part of which is the right of the child to develop in the mother’s womb from the moment of conception; the right to live in a united family and in a moral environment conducive to the growth of the child’s personality; the right to develop one’s intelligence and freedom in seeking and knowing the truth; the right to share in the work which makes wise use of the earth’s material resources, and to derive from that work the means to support oneself and one’s dependents; and the right freely to establish a family.  – Pope John Paul II , Centesimus Annus

The Sanctity of Life; Hospice & Palliative Care

The right to life from conception to natural death is the foundation of all Catholic Social Teaching. It implies that every form of procured abortion and euthanasia is illicit…  This is not something subject to alleged reforms or ‘modernizations.’ It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.  – 155, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church; Evangelii Gaudium 214

“You shall not kill.” – the 5th Commandment

The Dignity of work

The use of one’s gifts to seek and serve God necessarily includes work, by which humans cooperate with God in God’s continuing act of creation.  Work is an essential expression of the person…   Any form of materialism or economic tenet that tries to reduce the worker to being a mere instrument of production, a simple labour force with an exclusively material value, would hopelessly distort the essence of work and strip it of its most noble and basic human quality.  Work is an obligation to one’s family, neighbors, and nation.  -271-274, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

The Buffalo party has released no official statement concerning its policies on the sanctity of life.

The Buffalo party has released no official statement concerning its policies on the dignity of work.

The party believes that smaller government will reduce red tape, reduce the suppression of a free market and be less of a tax burden to the people.

The Saskatchewan Green party believes that achieving economic and environmental sustainability requires eliminating the causes of population growth by giving men and women greater control over their fertility.

The Saskatchewan Green party recognizes it is essential to create a vibrant and sustainable economic system, one that can create jobs and provide a decent standard of living for all people while maintaining a healthy ecological balance. The party believes that a successful economic system will offer meaningful work with dignity, while paying a living wage which reflects the real value of a person’s work; and that local communities must develop an economy that assures protection of the environment and worker’s rights, broad citizen participation in planning, and enhancement of our quality of life. The party supports cooperatives and public enterprises that distribute resources and control to more people through democratic participation.

The Saskatchewan Liberal Party has released no official statement concerning its policies on the sanctity of life.

Saskatchewan Liberals recognize both economic and social diversity as necessary to innovation and prosperity. Individuals should be free to develop their talents and pursue their own projects in life compatible with the liberty of others. The entrepreneurial spirit of the individual must be fostered and allowed to flourish in all areas, whether artistic, commercial, charitable, or academic. The role of the state is to foster a free market economy by cultivating conditions of fair competition and ensuring equal opportunity of citizens to participate. Social and economic ventures should be the result of community and individual initiatives.

The Saskatchewan NDP has released no official statement concerning its policies on the sanctity of life.  The party believes that everyone should have the ability to shape their own life.

The Saskatchewan NDP values fairness and extending opportunity and prosperity broadly. The party wants to reduce inequality, and believes in encouraging aspiration and giving everyone a chance to get ahead and achieve their full potential.  The party wants to create a province where, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead and, if you face barriers and challenges, we work together to help you proceed.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan:

  • supports legislation to ensure that any child born alive shall receive the full benefits of life-saving care, and neo-natal intensive care to give every opportunity possible for the child to sustain life.
  • supports working with the federal government, other provinces and territories, and professional medical groups to develop a National Palliative Care Strategy to provide timely and equitable access to palliative care which affirms life, regards dying as a normal process and excludes euthanasia and assisted suicide (MAID).
  • believes parental consent for abortion will protect the health and welfare of minors as well as foster family unity. It will protect the constitutional rights of parents to raise their children and be involved in all the steps of that process.

The party believes:

  • that it is the responsibility of government to create an economic climate in which Saskatchewan residents can thrive and prosper, and with their success create quality job opportunities for Saskatchewanians.

The Saskatchewan Party has released no official statement concerning its policies on the sanctity of life.

The Saskatchewan Party believes that too often, enterprise-oriented governments appear to seek growth for the sake of growth, and that this is a mistake – one that can cause governments to lose focus and discipline. The party believes that the purpose of growth is to secure a better quality of life for all Saskatchewan people.  The party reports that during its term in office, the provincial unemployment rate has dropped to the lowest level in Canada.

Consider asking your riding’s candidates the following questions, and discussing their answers with your family, friends, coworkers, and fellow parishioners:

  • What limits should be placed on voluntary termination of human life, either prior to birth or at any time before death?
  • What alternatives to abortion or to medically-assisted suicide should be offered?
  • Is current provincial investment in palliative care (care which neither hastens nor postpones natural death) for terminally ill individuals adequate? Are sufficient spaces for such care available to meet the needs of the province?
  • What can or should be done to ensure that jobs which encourage and enable the spiritual as well as material growth of all workers are available to all who seek them?
  • What if any steps should be taken to reduce suicide rates in Saskatchewan?

Stewardship of Creation

Climate Change, Adaptability & Resilience

“Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue: it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”  “Today’s ecological crisis, especially climate change, threatens the very existence of the human family.”  – Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 217; address, Energy Transition summit, Vatican June 2019.

Climate Change, Adaptability & Resiliance

God gave us dominion over the earth, thereby making us stewards of creation as we work with Him in His continuing act of creation. We must constantly consider how our actions protect or harm this glorious gift God has entrusted to us.

Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment. – 339, Catechism of the Catholic Church

Humanity’s relationship with creation and the creatures of the earth “requires the exercise of responsibility, it is not a freedom of arbitrary and selfish exploitation.”  – 115, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

“Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue: it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”  “Today’s ecological crises, especially climate change, threatens the very existence of the human family.”  – Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 217; address, Energy Transition summit, Vatican June 2019.

Climate Change, Sustainable Economy & Resources

The Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan advocates:

  • elimination of the federal carbon tax
  • completion of all oil and pipe lines

Resources

The party advocates:

  • Legislation for corporate tax structure on start-up Upgraders and Refineries in Saskatchewan
  • Provincial control of trade of resources, including trade with US

The Saskatchewan Green Party recognizes the limited scope for the material expansion of human society within the biosphere, and the need to maintain biodiversity through sustainable use of renewable resources and responsible use of non-renewable resources.  The party believes that to achieve sustainability, and in order to provide for the needs of present and future generations within the finite resources of the earth, continuing growth in global consumption, population and material inequity must be halted and reversed.

The party recognizes that sustainability will not be possible as long as poverty persists.  The party believes that this requires redefining the concept of wealth, to focus on quality of life rather than capacity for over-consumption creating a world economy which aims to satisfy the needs of all, not the greed of a few, and enables those presently living to meet their own needs without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet theirs.

The party supports redefining the roles and responsibilities of trans-national corporations in order to support principles of sustainable development, ensuring that market prices of goods and services fully incorporate the environmental costs of their production and consumption, and achieving greater resource and energy efficiency and development and use of environmentally sustainable technologies.

The Green Party supports a just transition of skills and labour for energy sectors (ie to help such workers find other ways for using their skills.

The Saskatchewan Liberal party believes that consensus among climate scientists is that climate change is happening and happening fast, and that Saskatchewan has the highest green house gas emissions per capita in Canada, and is too dependant on fossil fuels.  The party is resolved to:

• encourage business to invest in environmentally friendly solutions through the issue of new provincial bonds;
• invest in the development of sustainable industry in Saskatchewan;
• promote diverse and sustainable farming practices;
• provide practical leadership on environmental issues related to current and future economic activity, leaving a positive legacy for future generations to enjoy the natural wealth of our province.
• invest in infrastructure to help get goods and resources to market, such as the port of Churchill, a pipeline and rail network servicing Saskatchewan and terminating in the port of Churchill
• advocate for a schedule of fees payable to anyone who connects to the power grid order to deliver renewable energy.

The Saskatchewan NDP values sustainability and wants to leave the world to our children and grandchildren better than we received it, with our shared environment kept safe and our common wealth more abundant.  Its first priority is to develop Renew Saskatchewan, to create jobs, lower bills, and reduce emissions.

The party proposes to:

  • Implement 50% renewable and non-emitting energy by 2030, with a legislated target of 100% emissions-free electricity by 2050
  • Make ambitious investments in energy efficiency
  • Support protection of wetlands and grasslands
  • Create a distributed energy grid to allow individuals, small businesses, municipalities, First Nations and Métis communities to generate their own power
  • Develop geothermal power through SaskPower

The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan believes that global warming theories, buried in the title “Climate Change”, should be open to valid science, discussion and debate. The party acknowledges that climate change has been happening since the beginning of the Earth’s creation.  The party:

• believes that in order to have a strong economy and maintain good health, Saskatchewan must have strong, coordinated and achievable environmental policies. Responsible exploration, development, conservation and renewal of our environment are vital to our continued well-being as a province and as individuals.
• supports and promotes the Sustainable Communities Initiative allowing for further growth and development into Saskatchewan.
• supports as a priority the construction of pipeline to tidewater.
• supports research in the reusability and/or neutralization of our own nuclear waste (ie. spent rods), and that of other jurisdictions if nuclear materials originated from Saskatchewan.
• opposes non-Canadian residents protesting on our sovereign soil, especially against our energy sector. A Progressive Conservative government would prohibit non-Canadian residents from protesting or counter-protesting in Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Party:

• announced a goal of 50% renewable energy within the Province by 2030
• reports that it invested $1.2 billion in the Carbon Capture & Sequestration facility at Boundary Dam 3, intended to reduce plant emissions by 90%
• reports that it provided $2 million to support the Petroleum Technology Research Centre, to foster research and development of technologies that reduce the environmental footprint of the oil and gas sector, as well as technologies to increase investment and resource recovery in Saskatchewan

Consider asking your riding’s candidates the following questions, and discussing their answers with your family, friends, coworkers, and fellow parishioners:

  • How can Saskatchewan achieve a sustainable, adaptable, and resilient economy and life style, in order to protect future generations and those who live in other parts of the world, while enabling Saskatchewanians to work at spiritually fulfilling and materially-sustaining jobs?
  • Should net metering subsidies for solar power or for private and cooperative power generation be renewed?
  • Should the elimination of single-used plastics, packaging, and implements be made a provincial priority?
  • Should Saskatchewan invest in the development of and reliance on small nuclear reactors in order to meet provincial energy requirements?
  • The Provincial Auditor’s report for 2019-2020 cites need for improvement in sustainable fisheries management by the Ministry of Interior.  What can or should be done to ensure that clean, fresh water is available throughout the province, both for human and animal use?

Community & the Common Good

Development of the Family; Support for the Elderly; Education

The family is the primary unit in society. It is where education begins and the Word of God is first nurtured. The priority of the family over society and the State must be affirmed.  – 209-214, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

The Church teaches that the proper role of government and other human institutions is to foster human life and dignity by maintaining social conditions that enable and encourage us to serve God in one another, and thereby to promote that which is truly in the common interest. This includes nurturing and enabling families, as well as supporting the elderly and other marginalized members of society.

Development of the Family & Participation in Community Life

“Honor your father and your mother.” – the 4th Commandment

The family is the primary unit in society.  It is where education begins and the Word of God is first nurtured.  The priority of the family over society and the State must be affirmed. – 209-214, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

The Church teaches that the proper role of government and other human institutions is to foster human life and dignity by maintaining social conditions that enable and encourage us to serve God in one another, and thereby to promote that which is truly in the common interest. This includes nurturing and enabling families, as well as supporting the elderly and other marginalized members of society.

Support for the Elderly; Access to Spiritual Care

If the elderly are in situations where they experience suffering and dependence, not only do they need health care services and appropriate assistance, but — and above all — they need to be treated with love. – 222, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Education

Authentic democracy requires that the necessary conditions be present for the advancement both of the individual through education and formation in true ideals, and of the ‘subjectivity’ of society through the creation of structures of participation and shared responsibility.  Faced with rapid technological and economic progress, and with the equally rapid transformation of the processes of production and consumption, the Magisterium senses the need to propose a great deal of educational and cultural formation.  406, 376 – Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

 

The Buffalo party has released no official statement concerning its policies on development of the family or support for the elderly.

Healthcare

The party believes that every person within Saskatchewan has the right to fair treatment in regards to health care.   The party advocates:

  • Legislation to ensure that health care is available to all rural residents, to include increased doctors, nurses, beds, and emergency responders
  • Enhancement of the public/private MRI and CT programs
  • Increased funding for rural emergency health care, including staff, training, and equipment

Education:

The Buffalo party believes that every person within Saskatchewan has the right to fair treatment in regards to education.    The party advocates:

  • Greater emphasis on reading, writing, history, math and sciences, and less on social programming.
  • principals being moved out of scope, like superintendents
  • Increased emphasis on education leading to trades and vocations
  • Increased emphasis on business and finance
  • Reform of education boards, including training and broadening of membership
  • Reduced power for SK Teachers’ Federation, and greater board responsibility
  • Provincial support for an independent school association

The Saskatchewan Green Party has released no official statement concerning its policies on development of the family or support for the elderly.

The party asserts that the key to social justice is the equitable distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally, to meet basic human needs unconditionally, and to ensure that all citizens have full opportunities for personal and social development, and believes that this requires:
• the eradication of poverty, as an ethical, social, economic, and ecological imperative
• a new vision of citizenship built on equal rights for all individuals regardless of gender, race, age, religion, class, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, disability, wealth or health.

The Saskatchewan Liberal Party has resolved to:
• update the province’s subsidy eligibility criteria for families with children, in order to make quality, licensed child care affordable for all low‐income and lower middle income families
• collaborate with First Nations and the Federal Government to improve on‐reserve child care.
• reduce the tax burden for the average family by adjusting the tax brackets to better reflect current incomes, and
• advocate for expanded senior health care, a prescription drug plan for seniors, and the expansion of home care.

The Saskatchewan NDP values a healthy society, and recognizes the importance of a variety of factors, including education, employment, income, housing, the broader environment, and social supports) in creating healthier communities that benefit all of us.

The party values democracy and believes that government needs to be more inclusive and responsive to the needs of Saskatchewan families, businesses and communities.

The party proposes to:

Families

  • implement affordable daycare at $25/day, and create 2,200 daycare spaces

Seniors

  • establish a fully-independent Seniors’ Advocate
  • facilitate seniors staying in their homes through improved home care

Healthcare

  • invest $1.5 million to prepare for future outbreaks
  • legislate long-term care standards/day, and create 2,200 day
  • fund insulin pumps for type-1 diabetics and continuous glucose monitoring for minors

Education

The top educational priority of the Saskatchewan NDP is to provide additional resources for classrooms.  The party proposes to provide an additional $150 million for schools, to

  • reduce class size and fund 1000 more teachers, 700 assistants & 400 caretakers
  • hire 50 school-based mental health & addictions nurses
  • implement affordable daycare at $25/day, and create 2,200 daycare spaces
  • Eliminate interest from student loans

The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan respects the right and duty of parents to raise their own children responsibly according to their own conscience and beliefs. No person, government or agency has the right to interfere in the exercise of that duty except through due process of law.  The party believes that parents are in the best position to determine the care needs of their children, and that they should be able to do so in an environment that encourages as many options as possible, and in a manner that does not discriminate against parents who opt to raise their children in the family, social, linguistic, and religious environment that they judge to be best for their own families.

The Progressive Conservative party has released no official statement concerning its policies on support for the elderly.

It is a principle of the Saskatchewan Party that the province should promote a strong social safety net, which protects those who truly need support while encouraging individuals to become self-sufficient.

The party reports that during its term in office it has created 5000 new childcare places.  The party has also committed to:
• extending job protection benefits for workers caring for family members in the final stages of life
• introducing individualized funding for children with autism spectrum disorder
• increasing the number of rental homes
• introducing a 1st-time homeowner’s credit

The party reports that during its term in office it has:
• increased benefits under the Seniors Income Plan
• Invested in skills training for older workers
• reduced property taxes for low- and mid-income seniors

Consider asking your riding’s candidates the following questions, and discussing their answers with your family, friends, coworkers, and fellow parishioners:

  • When, if ever, is it appropriate to place limits on the right of parents to make decisions pertaining to care or education of their children?
  • Is current provincial investment in palliative care (care which neither hastens nor postpones natural death) for terminally ill individuals adequate? Are sufficient spaces for such care available to meet the needs of the province?
  • Should provincial standards be implemented for special care homes? If so, what details would for those regulations would be important?
  • What, if anything, needs to be done to address child poverty as a problem within Saskatchewan?
  • What should be done to ensure the physical and spiritual well-being of seniors in Saskatchewan?
  • What should be done to secure access to the right to clean drinking water in rural communities, or to improve other aspects of life & health conditions in such communities?
  • What should be done to ensure the continued right of Catholic education in Saskatchewan, for Catholics and/or for others?

Option for the Poor & Vulnerable

Poverty Reduction, Support for the Marginalized and Vulnerable, an Economy at the Service of the People 

‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’  – Matthew 25:45

The poor, the marginalized and those whose living conditions interfere with their proper growth should be the focus of particular concern.  – 182, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

“Money must serve, not rule!”  – Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel – 58

Development of the Family & Participation in Community Life

Catholics are called to remember Jesus’ own words: What we do to the least among us, we do to Him.  For many people, a living wage and dignified housing are beyond reach. The Church teaches that the opportunity for a dignified life and housing are fundamental human rights, and that it is wrong for any person or group to be excluded unfairly from participation in society.

“I encourage financial experts and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: ‘Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs…’ Money must serve, not rule!” Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel 57-58

The Buffalo party has released no official statement concerning its policies on poverty reduction.

Marginalized & Vulnerable

The party believes that every person within Saskatchewan has the right to fair treatment in regards to health care.

An Economy to Serve People

The party advocates:

  • Reducing regulation of farm and food production, to enable residents to buy from local producers.
  • Implementation of a Young Farmers program, including an investment program for farmers under 40
  • Implementation of a corporate tax structure for flour, pulse, pasta, etc., for small and medium sided business in Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Green Party asserts that the key to social justice is the equitable distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally, to meet basic human needs unconditionally, and to ensure that all citizens have full opportunities for personal and social development. The party believes that this requires:

• a just organization of the world and a stable world economy which will close the widening gap between rich and poor…
• a new vision of citizenship built on equal rights for all individuals regardless of gender, race, age, religion, class, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, disability, wealth or health

The Saskatchewan Liberal party believes that individuals should be guaranteed the freedom to live their own lives as they see fit, and that freedom requires not only the absence of government interference, but protection from coercion and other barriers to freedom such as poverty and illness.

The party values a healthy society, and recognizes the importance of a variety of factors (including education, employment, income, housing, the broader environment and social supports) in creating healthier communities that benefit all Saskatchewanians.

The party proposes to:

Marginalized & Vulnerable

  • Open mental health emergency facilities in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert & Moose Jaw
  • Invest $2 million in developing an opioid and crystal meth strategy
  • Invest $5 million in a suicide prevention strategy
  • Add $10 million to addiction treatment funding, to hire staff for the Saskatchewan Health Authority and community-based organizations

Poverty Reduction & an Economy to Serve People

The party’s top priority is to introduce a Sask-First procurement policy and raise minimum wage to $15/hr.  The party proposes to:

  • Remove PST from construction labour, to return $200 million to the economy each year
  • Lower vehicle insurance rates by approx. $85 per vehicle and give rebate of $100 to all policy holders
  • Reform and update the Saskatchewan Transp. Co.
  • Restore balance to SK labour legislation
  • Reinstate start-up loans for new businesses, and work with small businesses to adjust to $15/hr minimum wage
  • Work to improve competitiveness of tech sector
  • Reduce the craft beer levy
  • Lower crop insurance rates
  • Invest $10 million in worker retraining for changing economy

The Saskatchewan PC party has released no official policy statement concerning its policies on poverty reduction or support for the marginalized and vulnerable.  The party recognizes the value of a balanced governance approach by addressing the five dimensions of human wellness – emotional, intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual – and four foundation pillars for a prosperous province: freedom, family, faith, and life.

The Saskatchewan Party reports that during its term in office:

• more than 112,000 low-income residents were exempted from tax payments
• taxes were eliminated for families of 4 on first $49,800 of income
• provincial funding to assist disabled persons was doubled
• Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID), provided $700 million since 2007 to 1400 clients
• the province eliminated a 440-person waiting list for persons with intellectual disabilities
• the province invested nearly $1 billion in 40 new or replacement schools and 25 major renovations.
• the province added 600 teachers and 200 student support teachers to the school system.
• the province increased post-secondary funding by 61%
• the province invested $360 million in First Nations and Metis education and skills development.
• the province increased the number of Adult Basic Education training seats by almost 50%
• the province invested more than $10 million to address disability-related obstacles to education, training, or employment

 

Consider asking your riding’s candidates the following questions, and discussing their answers with your family, friends, coworkers, and fellow parishioners:

• What, if anything, should be done to ensure that a minimum or living wage is available to workers, or to reduce poverty in Saskatchewan? Should a basic income policy be considered?
• Should the province provide public subsidies or funding to ensure access to safe and reliable public transportation for all of the province’s residents?
• Should anything be done to protect autonomy at the farm gate from corporate interests, and/or to secure access to local markets for growers of all sizes?
• What else can or should be done to ensure that Saskatchewan’s economy serves the people, rather than the other way around?

Rights & Responsibilities; Subsidiarity

Freedom of Religion & Conscience Rights; Rights to Housing, Food, & Clean Water

Conscience Rights

With euthanasia and medically-assisted death and abortion legalized, it is critical that healthcare providers whose deepest moral convictions tell them that such procedures are wrong, not be forced to participate.

Housing

Many Saskatchewanians live in substandard housing, or have no homes at all.  Choices of decent housing must be offered, and the people directly involved must be part of the process.

Food & Water

Access to nutritious food and drinkable water are among the fundamental human rights recognized by the Church.  Lack of proper food and water have been linked to long-term poverty and ill health.

Among fundamental human rights, which are rooted in the dignity of the individual, the Church has recognized the following:

• the right to life, an integral part of which is the right of the child to develop in the mother’s womb from the moment of conception
• the right to live in a united family and in a moral environment conducive to the growth of the child’s personality
• the right to develop one’s intelligence and freedom in seeking and knowing the truth
• the right to share in the work which makes wise use of the earth’s material resources, and to derive from that work the means to support oneself and one’s dependents
• the right freely to establish a family, to have and to rear children through the responsible exercise of one’s sexuality
• the right to food and drinkable water
• the to housing and security
• the right to self-determination and independence

The right to religious freedom must be recognized in the juridical order and sanctioned as a civil right.

The Church also teaches that human rights are indissolubly linked to human duties, underlining the contradiction inherent in affirming rights without acknowledging corresponding responsibilities. “Those, therefore, who claim their own rights, yet altogether forget or neglect to carry out their respective duties, are people who build with one hand and destroy with the other.”

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 155, 156, 365, 422

Conscience Rights

The dignity of the person and the very nature of the quest for God require that all men and women should be free from every constraint in the area of religion.  Society and the State must not force a person to act against his conscience or prevent him from acting in conformity with it.  – Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 421

With euthanasia and medically-assisted death and abortion legalized, it is critical that healthcare providers whose deepest moral convictions tell them that such procedures are wrong, not be forced to participate. Catholic teaching says workers should be safeguarded from suffering any affront to conscience or personal dignity.  It is a grave duty of conscience to avoid cooperating, even formally, with practices contrary to the Law of God.

Housing

Countless numbers of people live in polluted cities and suburbs, “in make-shift residences or in huge complexes of crumbling and unsafe houses (slums, bidonvilles, barrios, favelas). Choices of decent housing offered, and the people directly involved must be part of the process.”  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 482

Food & Water

Among the causes that greatly contribute to underdevelopment and poverty, mention must be made of illiteracy and lack of food security.  There is a connection between poverty and possibilities for economic initiative and an administration capable of setting up an adequate system of education and information. Entrepreneurs and directors of public agencies involved in the research, production and selling of products must take into account not only legitimate profit but also the common good. This principle becomes particularly important for activities that deal with the food supply, medicine, health care and the environment. By their decisions, entrepreneurs and public agency directors guide developments toward very promising ends as far as concerns the fight against hunger, the fight against disease, and the fight to safeguard the ecosystem.  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 478.

Subsidiarity

Subsidiarity is the principle that all things should be done, and decided, in such ways as to ensure that individuals and “lower-order” elements of society are empowered to make as many of their own decisions as is responsibly possible.  Only by empowering individuals and smaller groups to make their own decisions can their freedom to seek God in their own ways be ensured.  They must be allowed to make their own way, and chart their own courses. therefore all things should be decided and done at the lowest level responsibly possible.

Subsidiarity is among the most constant and characteristic directives of the Church’s social doctrine and has been present since the first great social encyclical.  It is impossible to promote the dignity of the person without showing concern for the family, groups, associations, local territorial realities; in short, for that aggregate of economic, social, cultural, sports-oriented, recreational, professional and political expressions to which people spontaneously give life and which make it possible for them to achieve effective social growth.  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 185.

The Buffalo party has released no official policy statement concerning its policies on freedom of religion, conscience rights, housing, or access to food and clean water.

The party states that all people within Saskatchewan are Free, and is resolved that their Rights and Freedoms shall never be compromised.

Subsidiarity

The party advocates:

  • Provincial withdrawal from the National Transfer Payment Plan, which it believes is unfair to Saskatchewan.
  • Provincial control of its portion of CPP
  • Provincial management of all tax structures, including federal
  • Replacement of the RCMP with a provincial police force
  • Control of immigration, to ensure that those admitted are a net value to the province
  • Provincial control of trade of all goods from Saskatchewan

The Green Party of Saskatchewan has released no official statement concerning its policies on conscience rights, housing, or access to clean and safe food and water.

The party:
• promotes a new vision of citizenship built on equal rights for all individuals regardless of gender, race, age, religion, class, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, disability, wealth or health.
• strives for a democracy in which all citizens have the right to express their views, and are able to directly participate in the environmental, economic, social and political decisions which affect their lives.

The Saskatchewan Liberal party has released no official statement concerning its position on conscience rights, housing, or access to clean and safe food and water.

The party:

• is dedicated to the principles of individual freedom, responsibility, and human dignity in the framework of a just society. The Party is committed to the pursuit of equality of opportunity for all persons, and to the enhancement of our unique and diverse cultural community.
• subscribes to the fundamental rights and freedoms of persons of persons under the rule of law, including the constitution of Canada and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
• believes that freedom requires not only the absence of government interference, but protection from coercion and other barriers to freedom such as poverty and illness.
• asserts that government exists to foster the conditions for personal freedom, not to impose or encourage any way of life over any other.

The Saskatchewan NDP has released no official statement concerning its policies on conscience rights or access to clean water and nutritious food.

Gender Equity

The party has committed to

  • mandate equitable labour practices
  • ban dress codes that make women less safe at work, including mandatory high heels

Housing

The party has committed to invest $5 million to create a poverty reduction strategy, by increasing support for housing first

Subsidiarity

The party has committed to fight for a fair deal on inter-provincial equalization.

The Saskatchewan PC party recognizes that freedom of speech is a hallmark of a free society, and believes that compelled speech in any form is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Individual freedoms of thought, belief, opinion, and expression supersede all compelled speech.

The party:

  • supports conscience rights for doctors, nurses, and others to refuse to participate in, or to refer their patients for abortion, assisted suicide, or euthanasia.
  • recognizes that it is unethical and wrong to require applicants for government- funded programs to sign a values test attestation endorsing government ideology in order to be eligible to receive government funding.

The party has released no official statement concerning rights to housing or access to safe and clean food and water.

The Saskatchewan Party has released no official statement concerning its polices on conscience rights, housing, or safe and clean food and water.

It is a principle of the Saskatchewan Party to promote individual freedom and the equality of opportunity for all citizens.

The party has committed to increasing the number of rental homes available within the province, and introducing a 1st-time homeowner’s tax credit.

 

Consider asking your riding’s candidates the following questions, and discussing their answers with your family, friends, coworkers, and fellow parishioners:

• Are conscience rights of healthcare workers and others adequately protected, in view of the legalization of euthanasia and abortion?  What, if anything, can be done to bolster those rights?
• What, if anything, should be done to ensure that all Saskatchewanians have access to safe, clean water, and nutritious food?
• What, if anything, should provincial and/or municipal governments do to encourage and enable individuals, public interest groups, and service organizations to employ their time and talents in the service of the common good, and to have a voice in provincial society, to the fullest possible extent?

 

Solidarity

Indigenous Peoples & Reconciliation; Northern Saskatchewan; Refugees & Newcomers; Racism

Solidarity is acceptance of the truth that because all peoples are part of the same human family – part of the one body of Christ – what happens to others affects us as well, regardless of differences in location or life circumstances.

Solidarity is found in a commitment to the good of one’s neighbour.  The good of one is the good of all, and the other is as important as the self.  Injustice done to another is an injustice that affects everyone.  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 193

Indigenous Peoples & Reconciliation

The relationship of indigenous peoples to their lands and resources deserves particular attention, since it is a fundamental expression of their identity. These peoples offer an example of a life lived in harmony with the environment that they have come to know well and to preserve. Their extraordinary experience, which is an irreplaceable resource for all humanity, runs the risk of being lost together with the environment from which they originate.  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 471

The Canadian Catholic Church supports the work of the Truth and Reconciliation commission. We are called to support thriving Indigenous communities in Canada, rooted in their unique cultures and traditions.

Northern Saskatchewan

The profound and radical changes underway at the social and cultural levels also in agriculture and in the more expansive rural world urgently call for a thorough examination of the meaning of agricultural work in its many different dimensions. This is a challenge of great importance that must be met with agricultural and environmental policies that are capable of developing new perspectives for modern agriculture that are in a position to play a significant role in social and economic life.  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 299

Refugees & Newcomers

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34; Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 299.

We are called to welcome immigrants and refugees with generosity and good will, as if they were Jesus Christ himself.  Matthew, Chapter 25.

Racism

The unity of the human family is not yet becoming a reality. This is due to obstacles originating in materialistic and nationalistic ideologies that contradict the values of the person integrally considered in all his various dimensions, material and spiritual, individual and community.  In particular, any theory or form whatsoever of racism and racial discrimination is morally unacceptable. 433 Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

The Buffalo party has released no official statement concerning its policies on Indigenous peoples and reconciliation.

Rural Communities

The party believes that every person within Saskatchewan has the right to fair treatment in regards to health care.  The party advocates:

  • Legislation to ensure that health care is available to all rural residents, to include increased doctors, nurses, beds, and emergency responders
  • Enhancement of the public/private MRI and CT programs
  • Increased funding for rural emergency health care, including staff, training, and equipment

Refugees & Newcomers

The party advocates rural control over all immigration, so that those admitted are a net value to the province.

The Saskatchewan Green Party has released no official statement concerning its policies on refugees and newcomers.

The party acknowledges the wisdom of the Indigenous peoples of the world, as custodians of the land and its resources, and honours cultural, linguistic, ethnic, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity within the context of individual responsibility toward all beings.  The party promotes the building of respectful, positive and responsible relationships across lines of division in the spirit of a multi-cultural society, and believes that this requires recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples to the basic means of their survival, both economic and cultural, including rights to land and to self-determination; and acknowledgment of their contribution to the common heritage of national and global culture, and recognition of the rights of ethnic minorities to develop their culture, religion and language without discrimination, and to full legal, social and cultural participation in the democratic process.

The Saskatchewan Liberal Party has released no official statement concerning it policies on Northern Saskatchewan.

The party endorses and recognizes the outcome and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The party acknowledges that Saskatchewan is a rapidly growing province that is facing continued labour market shortages; and that international immigration serves as a vital tool for meeting current and future skilled and general labour needs.  The party is resolved to promote increasing permanent immigration levels in order to maintain the prosperity we have experienced in the province. It would ensure that our province has the skilled and unskilled labour force the business community needs in order to remain competitive in a domestic and global marketplace.  The party would seek reinstatement of family sponsorship within the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, with additional limitations such as limited sponsorships per family. Additionally, the program should be more transparent and effective for the residents of the province.

The party believes that it is time to make Saskatchewan a place that works for everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, or background.

Indigenous Relations

The party proposes to:

  • Work with the federal, First Nations, and Métis governments to close the gap in health, employment, justice and education between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
  • Invest $10 million to act on the Calls to Action of the Truth & Reconciliation Committee
  • Work with First Nations to reform autonomy over child intervention on reserve

Northern Saskatchewan

The party proposes to reinstate an independent Ministry of Northern Affairs.

Refugees & Newcomers

The party proposes to:

  • Improve the recognition of foreign credentials to allow more new Canadians to fully participate in the economy
  • Restore the family class of the provincial immigration program

Racism

The party advocates examining structural and systemic racism in government and education

The Saskatchewan PC party has released no official statement concerning its policies on Northern Saskatchewan or refugees and newcomers.

The party supports the Indigenous land-learning curriculum in Saskatchewan as an elective, and provision of grants for schools that use the program, with focus to be given to multi-cultured schools offering land-based learning to all students.

The Saskatchewan Party has released no official statement regarding its policies on Indigenous peoples and reconciliation, or refugees and newcomers.

The party reports that during its term in office:

  • off-reserve Indigenous employment increased by 26%
  • investment in First Nations and Metis education and skills development increased by 96%
  • funding for the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology increased by over 120%
  • first Nations and Métis enrollment in the Saskatchewan post-secondary system increased almost 30%
  • investment in northern highways has increased by 31%
  • $17 million has been provided for funding for northern community-based organizations.

Consider asking your riding’s candidates the following questions, and discussing their answers with your family, friends, coworkers, and fellow parishioners:

  • The 2019-2020 Provincial Auditor’s reports cite need for improvement in  suicide prevention services, particularly in NW Saskatchewan.  What can or should be done to address that recommendation?

 

Justice & Peace

The Proper Role of Government; Stewardship of Public Office; Criminal Justice

The Church teaches that the proper role of government is to provide a legal and economic framework in which the common good can flourish, in order that the people may accomplish their mission, that is, so that the people may use the freedom God has given them to find their way back to Him.  Public administration at any level — national, regional, community — must be oriented towards the service of citizens, serving as steward of the people’s resources, which it must administer with a view to the common good.    Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 406-412

The province has the twofold responsibility to discourage behaviour that is harmful to human rights and the fundamental norms of civil life, and to repair, through the penal system, the disorder created by criminal activity.  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 402

The Proper Role of Government

The Church teaches that the proper role of government is to provide a legal and economic framework in which the common good can flourish, in order that the people may accomplish their mission,that is, so that the people may use the freedom God has given them to seek the truth.  The Church values the democratic system inasmuch as it ensures the participation of citizens in making political choices, guarantees to the governed the possibility both of electing and holding accountable those who govern them, and of replacing them through peaceful means when appropriate.   Authentic democracy is possible only in a State ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person. It requires that the necessary conditions be present for the advancement both of the individual through education and formation in true ideals, and of the ‘subjectivity’ of society through the creation of structures of participation and shared responsibility.  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 406

The action of the State… must be consistent with the principle of subsidiarity and create situations favourable to the free exercise of economic activity. It must also be inspired by the principle of solidarity and establish limits for the autonomy of the parties in order to defend those who are weaker. Solidarity without subsidiarity, in fact, can easily degenerate into a ‘Welfare State,’ while subsidiarity without solidarity runs the risk of encouraging forms of self-centred localism. In order to respect both of these fundamental principles, the State’s intervention in the economic environment must be neither invasive nor absent, but commensurate with society’s real needs. The State has a duty to sustain business activities by creating conditions which will ensure job opportunities, by stimulating those activities where they are lacking or by supporting them in moments of crisis…”  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 351

Stewardship of Office

The Church teaches that public administration at any level — national, regional, community — must be oriented towards the service of citizens: being at the service of its citizens, the State is the steward of the people’s resources, which it must administer with a view to the common good.  When institutions become complex in their organization and pretend to manage every area at hand… they lose their effectiveness as a result of an impersonal functionalism, an overgrown bureaucracy.  The role of those working in public administration is not to be conceived as impersonal or bureaucratic, but rather as an act of generous assistance for citizens, undertaken with a spirit of service.  If there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political action, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 407-412.

Criminal Justice & Corrections

In order to protect the common good, the lawful public authority must exercise the right and the duty to inflict punishments according to the seriousness of the crimes committed.  The State has the twofold responsibility to discourage behaviour that is harmful to human rights and the fundamental norms of civil life, and to repair, through the penal system, the disorder created by criminal activity.  Punishment does not serve merely the purpose of defending the public order and guaranteeing the safety of persons; it becomes as well an instrument for the correction of the offender, a correction that also takes on the moral value of expiation when the guilty party voluntarily accepts his punishment.  There is a twofold purpose here. On the one hand, encouraging the re-insertion of the condemned person into society; on the other, fostering a justice that reconciles, a justice capable of restoring harmony in social relationships disrupted by the criminal act committed.  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 402

The party believes

  • that smaller government will reduce red tape, reduce the suppression of a free market and be less of a tax burden to the people.
  • that Saskatchewan people have the right to vote for Independence.
  • that it is the people’s choice to stay within or leave confederation.
  • that no matter the outcome, the people should be in full control of their destiny.

Stewardship of Public Office

The party advocates:

  • Use of provincial Crown corporations for competitive advantage, including restructuring the formula for business and the public
  • Reducing the number of bureaucrats and red tape stifling provincial growth
  • Demanding finalization of the national pipelines; and implementing trade restrictions on Quebec, should it block completion.
  • Elimination of PST on municipal construction projects
  • Preference for Saskatchewan companies in procurement policies
  • Replacement of graduated income tax with 10% flat tax for individuals, and lowering of rates for corporations
  • Taxpayer option of diverting 50% of taxes to a grant program to fund startups, students in trades and specialized degree programs, and large infrastructure projects
  • Tax exemption for those over 70
  • Reform of the Education property tax rate to eliminate large increases

Democratic Reform

The party advocates:

  • election of all provincial representatives, including federal senators, Lieutenant Governor, and Judges
  • payment of all elected provincial representatives, both at federal and provincial levels.

The Saskatchewan Green Party has released no official statement concerning its policies concerning criminal justice.

The party promotes a democracy in which all citizens have the right to express their views, and are able to directly participate in the environmental, economic, social and political decisions which affect their lives; so that power and responsibility are concentrated in local and regional communities, and devolved only where essential to higher tiers of governance.  The party believes that this requires:

  • individual empowerment through access to all the relevant information required for any decision, and access to education to enable all to participate
  • breaking down inequalities of wealth and power that inhibit participation
  • building grassroots institutions that enable decisions to be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected, based on systems which encourage civic vitality, voluntary action and community responsibility
  • giving young people a voice involvement in every aspect of political life including their participation in all decision-making bodies.
  • all elected representatives should be committed to the principles of transparency, truthfulness, and accountability in governance.
  • in all electoral systems, each adult should an equal vote.
  • that all electoral systems should be based on proportional representation
  • all elections should be publicly funded with strict limits on, and full transparency of, corporate and private donations.

The Saskatchewan Liberal Party has released no official statement concerning it policies regarding criminal justice.

The party is committed to the view that the dignity of each individual man and woman is the cardinal principle of democratic society and the primary purpose of all political organization and activity in such a society, and that the role of government is to promote liberty by ensuring equality of opportunity.  The party that power is best invested in the individual and that centralization of power poses a threat to personal liberty.

The party believes that:

  • government is responsible to electors, not to special interest groups.
  • decisions should be conducted with full transparency and with maximum opportunity for public input.
  • wherever possible, decision-making power should be decentralized and localized.
  • the central government is responsible for those issues affecting the province as a whole: justice, the environment, ensuring a fair and competitive marketplace, and the provision of public goods and services.

The Saskatchewan NDP values democracy and believes that everyone should have the ability to shape their own life and the life of their community, that those who are most affected by a decision should have the greatest input into the discussion, and that government needs to be more transparent, accountable, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of Saskatchewan families, businesses, and communities.

The party advocates:

  • a public inquiry into the Global Transportation Hub and Regina Bypass matters
  • stronger conflict of interest rules for MLAs
  • requiring all lobbying to be made public
  • ending commercial development of parts
  • improving standards for disclosure of financial information to the public
  • Requiring the public auditor to report on the state of public finances before each election.
  • The NDP’s 2020 platform budget projections include progressively smaller deficits for each year from 2020 through 2025.

Justice & Safety

The party advocates increased funding for gang prevention activities to keep communities and young people safe.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan has released no official public statement concerning its policies regarding criminal justice.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan:

  • believes that a balanced government will apply equal importance to each of the five dimensions of human wellness (emotional, intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual) when governing, and will educate and promote balanced living and a higher quality of life for provincial residents.
  • recognizes, in addition to the five dimensions of human wellness, four foundation pillars for a prosperous province: freedom, family, faith, and life.
  • expects that good and responsible government will be attentive to the people it represents and has representatives who at all times conduct themselves in an ethical manner and display integrity, honesty, and concern for citizens.
  • believes that the establishment of a recall method in the form of a bi-election will ensure that an elected representative will act in the best interests of his/her constituency and will conduct themselves in an ethical manner.

 

 

The Saskatchewan Party has released no official statement regarding its policies concerning criminal justice.

The Saskatchewan Party understands that government has an important role to play in keeping the economy strong and creating an environment that encourages the private sector to create jobs and invest in our province.  The party states that its principles include:

  • promotion of democratic reform, in order to make government more responsive to the people.
  • government should be smaller, less intrusive, and more efficient.
  • The Party and its members should pursue their activities with a commitment to basic values of ethical behaviour central to which are integrity, honesty, respect, humility, responsibility, fairness and compassion.

Consider asking your riding’s candidates the following questions, and discussing their answers with your family, friends, coworkers, and fellow parishioners:

  • What can or should be done to encourage the parties, voters, and other Saskatchewanians work together in order to ensure that parties, candidates, and governments serve with a deep spirit of wisdom and humility, to guide and gather us toward what is truly good for all of us, seeking common ground for cooperation, rather than seeking or drawing distinctions to draw us apart?
  • Is it wise or helpful for parties to wait until the last few days before an election to release their platforms, or to release them piecemeal and without costing projections; or could parties fairly be expected to release fully-costed platforms further in advance of an election? Who might benefit from the late release of platforms? Who might be hurt by such delays?
  • What, if anything, should be done to ensure the provision of fair and speedy criminal trials within the province, and access to legal aid?
  • What, if any, steps should be taken regarding privatization of prison or detention services, including for example food preparation?
  • In 2016, the governing party promised to balance provincial budgets by 2017-18.  Since 2016, the government has reported:
      • for 2017-18, a deficit of $595.0 million
      • for 2018-19, a deficit of $379.9 million
      • that, citing response to COVID-19, as of June 2020, it was forecasting a deficit of $2400 million for 2019-20

What, if anything, should be done to address budgetary imbalances within the province?


Information on this page was last updated on Oct 11, 2020 @ 5:53 pm.

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