The Saskatchewan NDP is calling on Premier Moe to make clear his commitment to working with the federal government in implementing a universal, single-payer, public pharmacare system. The call comes after Dr. Eric Hoskins and the Advisory Council on the Implementation National Pharmacare released their final report today, which made clear that the implementation will depend on active provincial support: “As with Medicare,” the report states, “it will be up to individual provinces and territories to opt in to national pharmacare by agreeing to the national standards and funding parameters of pharmacare.”
Meili announces critic role changes, calls for action on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Report
Today, NDP Leader Ryan Meili announced changes to the critic portfolios in the Official Opposition. As the now critic for First Nations and Métis Relations and the newly created Truth and Reconciliation file, he is calling on the government to address the findings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“The findings of the MMIWG Commissioners paint a stark picture of the violence experienced by Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people in Canada. It’s important that we don’t just let this become another report that gathers dust on a shelf while the government makes excuses for not taking action,” Meili said. “We need to act on the recommendations to save lives and ensure safety for Indigenous women and girls in Saskatchewan, so that together we can build a brighter future for everyone.”
The Saskatchewan NDP is continuing its push to scrap the Sask. Party’s tax hike on construction labour after yet another Statistics Canada report shows that the value of building permits is falling.
“The PST expansion was a punch in the gut for our province’s construction industry,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “Moody’s Analytics has already forecast declines in home values for each of the next two years. We’ve also seen investment in residential and non-residential construction decrease. It’s clear this harmful policy is hobbling an important driver of our economy.”
NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat and Mental Health and Addictions Critic Danielle Chartier will be spending time in Prince Albert and North Battleford this week to gather insight and feedback on the challenges facing the health sector and what an NDP government could do to address them.
“We know how badly Prince Albert needs a second hospital, and we also know from North Battleford’s experience how important it is to build that hospital right, keeping it public and hiring Saskatchewan people and Saskatchewan companies to build it,” Mowat said. “We’re looking forward to hearing from people about the challenges they see in healthcare and what we can be doing to build a brighter and healthier future for everyone.”
The Provincial Auditor’s recent report highlighted many concerning findings, but one of significant concern is a backlog of audits on non-renewable potash and uranium royalty and tax returns. The Ministry of Energy and Resources is up to five years behind on its potash audits and four years behind on uranium audits. As of December 2018, the ministry hasn’t completed audits on 85 producer returns from before 2016.
“It’s deeply concerning that the government has let this backlog pile up,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “It’s important these audits are completed on time to ensure that we’re getting a fair return for our resources. We’re losing out on collecting precious dollars that could be used to fund other projects that would create good jobs, like addressing our infrastructure deficit and transitioning to clean energy.”
The Provincial Auditor’s 2019 Report, released today, highlights significant problems in the Sask. Party government’s handling of its largest portfolio, health. The NDP Opposition is calling on the government to provide Saskatchewan people the assurance they need that our public healthcare system is a priority.
Specifically, the report points to significant issues with the awarding of millions of dollars of public contracts to vendors funding travel junkets for eHealth employees responsible for awarding contracts, a growing health infrastructure deficit, and gaps in monitoring the prescribing and dispensing of opioids.