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Legislative Report (28 October 2005)

Legislature Report

28 October 2005
Saskatchewan people need relief from high heating costs

Its official. The provinces Rate Review Panel has approved one of the biggest rate hikes in Saskatchewan history, and there could be more to come. This week, the Rate Review Panel recommended SaskEnergy increase rates by 27 per cent and left the door open for another increase in January. So, it looks like Saskatchewan families will have to dig a little deeper in their pockets this winter. They shouldnt have too. This increase comes at a time when the governments bank account is flush with cash.

Thanks to skyrocketing natural gas and oil prices, Calvert is raking in millions while SaskEnergy is asking for a rate increase. This makes no sense. The Saskatchewan Party believes that Saskatchewan people should benefit from living in an oil and gas producing province because its their resource, not Lorne Calverts.

Instead of asking families to spend more to heat their homes, Calvert should be helping families. Instead of helping families, Lorne Calvert is busy promoting political friends like Eldon Lautermilch into Cabinet. This is not the message you should send to people facing huge rate hikes.

The Saskatchewan Party believes there needs to be a broadly based relief program, one that applies to everyone. This is the only way to bring fair and equitable relief from rate shock. All of us own the resource equally, and we should all benefit from it, not just the provincial NDP government.

Unless Calvert and the NDP bring in a program that helps everyone, they are not doing their job. The Premier should be helping all residents with a universal relief program. As the cold winter months approach, this is not the time to pick winners and losers. All Saskatchewan people own the resource; all should receive relief.

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