Fall session sees NDP focused on healthcare and education, Sask. Party out of ideas and out to distract
Throughout the Fall Legislative Session, Ryan Meili and the NDP stayed focused on the issues that matter to Saskatchewan people, particularly growing public frustration with the state of Saskatchewan classrooms and emergency rooms.
“Day after day, the Premier and the Sask. Party tried to change the channel to deflect from their failures on healthcare and education,” Meili said. “Our Opposition team kept the focus on the concerns that we’re hearing from across the province, while presenting ideas that invest in people and create a positive future for the province.”
According to information obtained by the NDP through Freedom of Information, schools at 80% of Saskatchewan school divisions are in "poor" condition or worse, with Regina Catholic School Board facilities listed as "critical."
“Our kids are struggling to learn in overcrowded classrooms with less support because the Sask. Party has failed to fund enrolment growth to the tune of $80 million,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Today we're seeing that our schools aren't just overcrowded, they're crumbling, and the Sask. Party is letting Saskatchewan students down by failing to keep up with its infrastructure responsibilities.”
Today, NDP Health critic Vicki Mowat raised the alarm about data showing that Saskatchewan has amongst the fewest doctors per capita in the country.
“We have been telling this government day after day that health care in the province is letting people down, and this data helps tell the story of why our ERs are overcrowded and short staffed,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “Hallway medicine and long wait times are all symptoms of major challenges in our health care system.”
A briefing note obtained by the NDP through FOI and responses to written questions show that emergency rooms in Regina are significantly underfunded and understaffed. Sent on SHA letterhead before the SHA’s “hush memo” was circulated in September, the memo involves physician leaders “requesting more resources for their portfolio.”
“Last month we released documents pointing to ‘an extreme overcapacity crisis’ in Saskatoon ERs. As the documents we’re sharing today show, the situation in Regina is even worse,” NDP Leader Ryan Meili said. “Instead of working to address the shortfall, this government seems more focused on telling frontline workers not to ask for the resources they need to do their jobs in our hospitals. The Sask. Party’s attempts to hide the problems in health care are letting people down.”
Today's mid-year report points to a struggling economy and a Sask. Party government that continues to inflate growth projections and to be slow to respond to emerging challenges like a struggling economy and overcrowded classrooms.
"This morning’s mid-year report shows yet again that this government is letting people down,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “Economic growth has been cut in half from what they predicted in the budget. Saskatchewan is on track to have the second lowest growth rate in the country, at 0.6 percent. Retail sales are down. Exports are down. Building permits, housing starts, and construction jobs are all down compared to last year.”
NDP, advocates call for changes as Sask. Party’s cancellation of net-metering program causes job and investment loss
John Brazill, Donna Nelson and Shanon Zachidniak of the Wascana Solar Co-operative joined the NDP at the Legislature today to speak to the damage the Sask. Party has done to the solar energy industry in the province and to call for the reversal of changes to the net-metering program.
“The Sask. Party didn’t just damage this important industry in our province, they devastated it,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “The Sask. Party has done nothing but let people down and we’re seeing the destructive effects their changes are having on Saskatchewan businesses and jobs every day.”