Saskatchewan Party pledges affordability

Incumbent party announces two new programs

The Saskatchewan Party’s leader, Premier Brad Wall, announced on Tuesday two new initiatives for improving access to post-secondary education in the province. It happened on the first day of the campaign before the Nov. 7 poll.

The Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship would provide up to $2,000 for high school graduates in the province to go towards tuition fees at Saskatchewan post-secondary institutions. Under the new program, which would be launched next year, students would be able to reduce their tuition costs by up to $500 per academic year.

The second program, the Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings, would build on the federal Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to help families save for their children’s educations. The provincial government would match 10 per cent of contributions to an RESP account, to a maximum of $250 per year.

The two programs would cost close to $15 million in the next year, according to the release.

So far, Wall’s main challenger, NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter, hasn’t announced any major education-related policy ideas, except that he would spend $24-million to help small centres recruit and keep doctors. That plan would “include things on tuition…” he told the StarPhoenix.