Fed up with the Wall government’s provincial budget, a group of students will hold rallies, events and other activities over the next five days in protest.
Students Mobilizing Against Cuts (SMAC) are unhappy with a number of decisions in the budget, including a reduction of five per cent, or $30.1 million, for post secondary institutions in total across Saskatchewan.
“This budget greatly impacts students as well as the broader community,” argued SMAC’s Kelsey Morrison. “Students suffer already. I work three jobs just to get through school.”
She believes the decrease in funding will eventually make its way to students in the form of higher tuition costs. As well, Morrison said with the PST jumping from five to six per cent, and the sales tax being expanded to cover things like children’s clothes, it will hit those who are low income like herself hard.
“Brad Wall’s budget is unacceptable and it has gone too far.”
The group showed up to the lawn of the Legislature Monday morning to voice concerns. Students also started erecting and assembling tents, announcing they’d be camping out for 24 hours in protest. By the early afternoon, the group had moved from the grass near the front of the Legislature to a green space in Wascana Park.
Police treated it as a peaceful protest and didn’t dismantle the tents.
“We believe that there needs to be more direct action in order to have our voices heard,” said Morrison.
SMAC would like to see a reversal on the decision to lower the corporate tax rate from 12 per cent to 11 per cent by July 2019. The group said it was excited to see the reversal of library cuts and wants to work to overturn the rest of the austerity cuts in the budget.