Saskatchewan’s cyclical economy means government revenues – and by extension expenditures – tend to go up and down with global demand for things such as potash.
A new report prepared by The Fraser Institute supports that economic theory.
It shows that Scott Moe’s tenure – which has included some strong revenue for the provincial treasury – has produced the highest spending per capita by the provincial administration. The calculations exclude interest on debt as they are not program spending dollars.
Roy Romanow, who could have been nicknamed Roy Roman-No, was dealt the 90s as his hand, a time when commodity prices were soft. As a result, he is the only premier since 1965 that had more down years than up when measuring per capita spending. He was often philosophical about it, noting that when you have no money it is easier to say no to everyone than to have to pick winners and losers.
Back when Ross Thatcher was in charge, per capital government spending in 2021 dollars was $2,737 in 1965.
Last year it was nearly $16,000 after COVID-related expenditures are removed.