Honourable Eric Cline has not balanced the budget yet, he forgot our school-children

Nipawin - April 3, 2000 - By: Mario deSantis

they write off people and children

We heave written many articles and we found that we cannot trust most of our political, business,
academic, and bureaucratic leaders. These leaders all play the Gross National Product(1) (GNP)
number game and in doing so they write off people and children from their balance sheets and
come up with balanced budgets. Eric Cline, Minister of Finance, has delivered the budget(2),
however he did not address the social predicament of our school aged children who are at risk
of not getting a needed education.

budget is not balanced at all

Cline has stated that this government "has supported the longest period of sustained economic
growth since the 1970s." Cline has also prided his government for balancing the budget
beginning in 1994-95 and in reducing the debt by some $3.5 billion in the last 5 years ending
as at March 31, 1999. I have already stated that the minimal growth of GNP is not evidence of
progressive social conditions at a time when the economic and social policies are directed on
behalf of the few and privileged(3), and specifically against our school aged children and rural
Saskatchewan. Wayne Strelioff, Provincial Auditor, has provided the government with valuable
information about our 'troubled children'(4), and today I want to express the understanding that
Cline's budget is not balanced at all when we take into consideration the liabilities presented
by the social and economic conditions of our troubled children.

almost 25% in a span of 5 years

We must understand that our aboriginal population is growing significantly and its average age
is getting younger, while the population at large is relatively decreasing and getting older. I always
take projections with a grain of salt, but some studies have projected that the percentage of the
aboriginal population will rise from the present 14% to 45% by the year 2045(5). Also, the
aboriginal population living on reserves increased to 38,444 in 1996 from 30,893 in 1991(6), a
population jump of almost 25% in a span of 5 years.

aboriginal ancestry live in dire economic and social conditions

Our population of aboriginal ancestry live in dire economic and social conditions, and as a
consequence we can appreciate the difficulties their children are experiencing in getting an
education. Wayne Strelioff has stated that unless we identify these vulnerable children, they
will eventually experience chronic unemployment and they will require more public services
including health and justice services, social assistance, housing and adult education(7). In addition,
Wayne Strelioff has stated that in 1998 up to 91,000 children out of a total 227,605 children under
age 15 were at risk of doing poorly in school.

the real future of this province

I am not a bean counter, but certainly it is important to highlight the economic liability of these
children so that our governments will take the necessary public policies. I am going to be very
simple; let us say that these children will experience once they become adults an average loss of
salary of $20,000 per year and public services of $10,000 per year over a period of 30 years.
Therefore, without any discounting, the liability of these 91,000 children would be:

91,000*($20,000+10,000)*30=$82 billion!

The above calculated liability of $82 billion is just a number to make us think where our priorities
in public policies should be. Therefore, this government should stop playing with the GNP number
game and look after the real future of this province, all of our children.
  Quote by Donella Meadows "challenging a paradigm is not a part-time job. It is not sufficient to make your point once and then blame the world for not getting it. The world has a vested interest in, a commitment to, not getting it. The point has to be made patiently and repeatedly, day after day after day" ftp://sysdyn.mit.edu/ftp/sdep/Roadmaps/RM1/D-4143-1.pdf   http://iisd1.iisd.ca/pcdf/meadows/default.htm
  General reference: Articles by Mario deSantis published by North Central Internet News http://www.ftlcomm.com/ensign/authors/desantis.html


Mayor Dayday's GNP Accounting: writing off our children, dumping people outside city limits, and building the Synchrotron, by Mario deSantis, March 1, 2000


Budget Address: A Plan for Growth and Opportunity, Honourable Eric Cline, Minister of Finance, Government of Saskatchewan, March, 2000 http://www.gov.sk.ca/finance/budget/budget00/2000papers.htm


A World for the Few and Privileged in Saskatchewan, by Mario deSantis, February 18, 2000


The greatest challenge for Saskatchewan: Education and Learning for our troubled children, by Mario deSantis, March 5, 2000


Aboriginals poised to irrevocably alter political landscape, by Adam Killick, National Post, February 07, 2000


Census Population, 1991 & 1996, Communities & Regions, INDIAN RESERVES, Saskatchewan Bureau of Statistics http://www.gov.sk.ca/bureau.stats/pop/pop1.htm


1999 Fall Report, Volume 2, Report of the Provincial Auditor, Saskatchewan, Chapter 2, Education, pages 117-132 http://www.auditor.sk.ca

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