Moose Jaw North MLA Tim McLeod and Lumsden-Morse MLA Blaine McLeod gave their takes after the provincial budget was announced on Wednesday. 

Both MLAs highlighted the record spending that was announced for healthcare and education. 

The budget included $356 million for classroom supports including funding to address classroom size and complexity and an increase of $180 million for school operating funds. 

Tim McLeod said the increase in education funding will be felt here on a local level in Moose Jaw with additional funding for the new joint use school on South Hill. 

“It's exciting to see the work progress on that and there’s continued funding in this budget for that school project as well as the many other school projects we’ve got going on around the province,” he said. 

Both MLAs also touted the record spending in healthcare including $35 million for targeted mental health and addictions initiatives and an $3.5 million increase for breast cancer care and the establishment of the Breast Health Care Centre in Regina. 

As Minister of Rural and Remote Health, Tim McLeod said there are continued increases for the Rural and Remote Recruitment Initiative and the Rural Physician Incentive Program. He said these programs have been a great success including the creation of 48 new hires in Moose Jaw through the Health Human Resource Retention Plan. 

Representing a more rural constituency, Blaine McLeod was happy to see $340.2 million for municipal revenue sharing, which is up by $42.4 million from the last budget. 

Despite the announcement of a $273.2 million deficit, Blaine McLeod feels the province is still in very good shape compared to other parts of the country. 

“Alberta leads at 9.7 per cent and Saskatchewan is right behind at 14 per cent, that’s the net debt to GDP percentage. The country of Canada at the federal level is 46.8 per cent. We’re a long way from that,” he said. 

With a background in agriculture, he was happy to see the government invest $431.7 million in risk management programs such as Crop Insurance and Agri Stability. Overall, the government is investing $570.6 million, a 4.1 per cent increase over the previous year.