Wall hints at more time to plug $1.2B deficit

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February 28, 2017 - 7:16pm Updated: March 1, 2017 - 7:34am
Premier Brad Wall said the provincial government still has yet to determine the exact figure on the provincial deficit. It's also trying to determine to best way to get back to balance. Feb.28, 2017
Chris Carr/650 CKOM
Premier Brad Wall said the provincial government still has yet to determine the exact figure on the provincial deficit. It's also trying to determine to best way to get back to balance. Feb.28, 2017

Saskatchewan's deficit is projected at $1.2 billion, but could grow before the province's spring budget comes down.

Premier Brad Wall said this is because final numbers are still coming in for revenues and even some expenses.

"But it's 1.2 [billion]," Wall said. "The hole we have to fill, arguably, you can make the case, is roughly that. It could even be greater, depending on what we think revenue is going forward," he said during a visit to Saskatoon Tuesday.

Wall said government will need to weigh carefully whether the entire deficit can be eliminated in one budget.

"We have to ask the question reasonably. Do we push to balance it all in one year, this year coming up, and risk some economic shock, shocking our economy and risk significant reduction in public service investment and services?" he said. 

Wall said his government may need to hold off on getting the entire deficit eliminated in 2017-18.

"It can't be long-term, but a short-term plan, to get to balance over more than one year," Wall added. 

The budget comes down March 22.