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