Physician shortage for opioid substitution therapies hitting crisis point: NDP

The NDP is calling for a plan to address a physician shortage for opioid substitution therapies in Regina. Two doctors who previously handled the 700-patient caseload are no longer offering services, and a lone physician has been hired to fill this gap.

“This is a crisis that needs immediate attention,” said NDP Mental Health and Addictions Critic Danielle Chartier. “Those who are trying to manage their opioid use disorders will face significant wait times to get the needed care.”

NDP urge action on child welfare

The annual report from the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth highlighted yet again how the Sask. Party government is failing children in care.

“There are too many kids in care, and too many kids dying or critically injured while they’re in care,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “When the need to act is so clear, it’s frustrating to see how little has changed.”

NDP move to designate April as Sikh Heritage Month

Today in the Legislature, the Saskatchewan NDP introduced Bill 616: An Act to proclaim the month of April as Sikh Heritage Month.

“It’s important that we live by our province’s motto, From Many Peoples, Strength, and in doing so recognizing the rich contributions that the Sikh community has made in Saskatchewan. Whether it’s economically, culturally, or socially,” said Trent Wotherspoon, who tabled the bill in the presence of many Sikh community leaders.

NDP joins frontline group in calling for province-wide gang strategy focused on prevention and intervention

The Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the provincial government to address the rising issue of gang violence by working with community-based organizations on the front lines of this issue. Shane Partridge of STR8 UP, a Saskatoon-based non-profit organization that helps people leave gangs, has travelled to the Legislature today seeking a commitment from the government to implement a provincial gang strategy along the lines of the one STR8 UP outlined in their Provincial Gang Strategy Phase 2 Report, released this month.

“Saskatchewan has the highest number of youth gang members per capita in the country, alarming rates of violent crime in both rural and urban areas, and a provincial government that seems not to care about how much their inaction on rehabilitation, addictions, and supports for youth is fueling the crisis,” said NDP Justice Critic Nicole Sarauer.

NDP calls for plan to address rising number of Indigenous kids in care

FSIN Vice-Chief David Pratt joined the NDP in the Legislature today in calling on the Sask. Party government to prioritize dealing with the rising number of Indigenous kids in care.

“This government has said this issue is important, but the fact that the numbers continue to rise shows they actually need to do something about it,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “We need to see a comprehensive child welfare review, something promised in 2010 but still not delivered by this government.”

NDP calls on minister of rural and remote health to show he can do the job, or step aside

After Minister of Rural and Remote Health Greg Ottenbreit failed to clarify his recent remarks to an anti-abortion group, the Saskatchewan NDP called on the minister to demonstrate his ability to carry out the duties required of the role, or to step aside.

“We simply can’t have a minister working to undermine access to a constitutionally protected health service when it’s his job to ensure access to that service,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “Women in rural and remote areas who lack access to reproductive health options need to hear directly from the Minister that he is working for them, not for lobby groups seeking to restrict access.”