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Published by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation

Sask. students share their spending ideas in advance of Budget Day

Posted: 03/21/17 4:34pm CST
Photo credit: Nick de Partee

Saskatchewan high school students believe debt reduction and social programs should be government priorities.

That’s according to a student budget consultation conducted by CIVIX, a national charitable organization that works to engage Canadian youths in citizenship.

Surveyed in the fall, 353 Grade 11 and 12 students from 29 communities across Saskatchewan shared their thoughts on employment prospects, future plans, government spending and taxes.

Mackenzie Darling was one of them.

“You kind of realize the actual issues in Canada,” said Darling, a Grade 12 student at Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School in Regina.

With the federal and provincial budgets’ release on Wednesday, a $28-billion shortfall is projected federally, and Saskatchewan’s provincial deficit has been projected at $1.3 billion.

“It feels beyond my control right now. I guess realizing in a few years this will actually be my problem is kind of scary,” said Darling, 18.

“(Some money) could be put toward a better cause. Like for example the new Mosaic stadium, you could have easily used that money to build another children’s hospital.”

“I think the deficit is important and it should be addressed, but also not maybe the top priority,” said Grade 12 student Adrian Chevalier.

He doesn’t believe in cutting social, health or education spending to reduce the debt.

For complete Canadian survey results, check out budgetconsultation.ca.

Saskatchewan students’ answers by the numbers

On youth employment, education and their future

39% said saving for post-secondary education is the reason they want a summer job

47% said Canada has a youth unemployment problem

49% said it’s more difficult for their generation to climb the social ladder compared to their parents’ generation. 27% disagreed

24% plan a career in health or social services

86% believe they will find a job that interests them

63% said it will be tougher financially to raise a family than it was for their parents’ generation. 18% disagreed

On government spending

71% said the government’s priority should be to lower the debt

48% said corporations should pay more taxes. 14% said corporations should pay less. 38% said corporate taxes should stay the same

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