Time to cite provincial auditors "deficit" rather than Wall's "surplus"

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It must be a frustrating time to be the Saskatchewan provincial auditor to say the least!

Despite years of the Sask Party claiming the province is running 'surplus' budgets, the provincial auditor year in and year out, reminds Saskatchewan residents the one and only real surplus budget by the Sask Party was their first year in office. The budget they inherited from the previous NDP government. In fact, using the "summary financial statement" the predicted and recently updated slim surplus for this year is looking like another half billion in new deficit for this year alone.

What must be even more frustrating for the provincial auditor is that while we expect the province to release self congratulating, misleading numbers, the media seems to eat it up.  Despite the auditor telling us what the real "summary" deficit is each year. Rarely, if ever, does the media refer to the province as being in a half decade of Sask Party deficit, as per the provincial auditor. Rarely did the media cite last year's $304 million summary deficit, also as per the provincial auditor, and rarely, if ever, will the media report, or reference the $500 million or so summary deficit this year right now. If they provincial auditor says we're in deficit, and the ruling political party says we're not, maybe the default media position, should be to go with the auditor's report? Or do some "investigative" journalism and come up with their own number? In which case, the media here should stop using the word "surplus" because the Saskatchewan hasn't had a real one of those in years. And if the Sask Party wants to get the word "surplus" in the local media, they should either accomplish one the real way, or they should buy advertising space to post their false claims. I call for no more free ads for government hiding under the guise of a "news" story. No more "Brad Wall says we're awesome" stories pretending to be news. Why not a hard hitting look at how some day, Wall plans to run a real surplus?

Yes, a frustrating time to be the provincial auditor indeed!

Nick Henselmeier - Saskatoon

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Recent comments

  • NDP supporter
    August 06, 2013 - 21:53

    Now news the provincial auditor of Saskatchewan is moving to Ontario! Me thinks perhaps because the Sask Party bullied her into going. Kudos to Ms. Bonnie, for holding the Sask Party to account, and pointing out all the deficits they ran, while the local media was continuing their Brad Wall love fest. Hopefully the next provincial auditor has as much guts!

  • Bart
    January 08, 2013 - 13:07

    First rule of Internet forums. Don't use your full name. Duh. Anyone who thinks that overall we were better off at the end of Grant's spending that almost bankrupted the province isn't looking at the big picture. We're still paying for it now and will be for a very long time yet.

  • allen godenir
    December 31, 2012 - 13:35

    ever notice how the socialists only use a first name .Then again if i supported the ndp i would want a little anonymy.As far as Grant Devine goes when one of you clowns tries to do as much for agriculture in this province as he tried to do after 30 years of ndp mismanagement then you can talk.

  • Bart
    December 19, 2012 - 23:44

    Dale's attitude is part of the problem. I'll take the auditors report over Brad's smoke blowing any day. That's why there are audits. Sure you can pretend nothing is wrong as we dig ourselves further and further into debt yet again then cry about it later when the bottom falls out and we have a debt crisis. Ever heard of learning from history? This is a history that has been repeated again and again and so many people haven't learned anything. Very sad really.

  • Conrad
    December 19, 2012 - 14:05

    Wall may be popular, but it is easy to be popular when everyone ignores all your short comings. I have to agree with the author and other posters. In related news http://www.leaderpost.com/news/Saskatchewan+Brad+Wall+still+country+most+popular+premier/7711686/story.html

  • skeptic
    December 18, 2012 - 12:21

    You are right Dale, 2/3 of Saskatchewan residents support Wall. Henselmeier addresses what one of the reasons behind that might be. The media has given Wall a "pass". He has been able to run moderate sized, serial deficits, while pretending to run "surpluses". Yes, the same practice as the NDP, however, if the public thought he was on deficit 4 or 5 in a row, they may be a lot less enthused about his performance. Dale, what specifically do you disagree with in this letter to the editor? Do you not think the provincial auditor is a good source? Do you not think the media should use the auditor, an impartial civic servant salaried to examine the province's finances, as a default over Wall, who has an obvious political interest in misleading the public. Wall may be very popular, but the majority of the public not knowing he's nearing $1 Billion in deficit, the last two years alone, a fact under-reported by the media has to help! Personally, I think a good time to be the auditor, as must be fun to point out the government's sneaky practices. What would the fun be in saying "the provincial government has been honest and accurate with their accounting practices"?

  • Dale Wilson
    December 17, 2012 - 23:19

    67% of Saskatchewan residents approve of Brad Wall. You three, however, do not. Good thing we have smart guys like you to guide us in the right drection. Thank goodness you are there to show us the error of our ways.

  • Clay
    December 16, 2012 - 09:11

    Couldn't have said it better myself Bart. Wake-Up everyone!!!

  • Bart
    December 14, 2012 - 10:36

    "investigative journalism"? What's that? I haven't seen it in years. Even when you throw the facts and the research at a reporter they don't "get it" and don't go looking themselves to figure it out to report on it. The default position of the media is the PC Party.... errr, I mean the Sask Party are the greatest. Yeah right. People need to get their heads out of the sand before we are right back to where we started after getting rid of Grant Devine.