Cutting literacy programs for the most vulnerable is bad public policy, NDP says

Due to a 2019 budget cut that eliminated the Community Literacy Fund, 14 literacy programs across Saskatchewan will no longer be eligible for funding after this June. Responding to the cut, the Saskatchewan NDP called on the Sask. Party to revisit the decision and restore the $500,000 the province spends on supporting the literacy needs of vulnerable people.

“First they went for Cornwall Alternative School, which helped vulnerable students, but quickly walked backed that bad decision under pressure,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck. “Now we’re seeing that literacy programs that support Saskatchewan’s vulnerable kids are next on the chopping block. It’s more bad policy that will hurt Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable people for years to come, and they need to walk it back too.”

NDP calls for legislation to protect and support students seeking to join or form a GSA

The Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the government to introduce protections and supports for students seeking to join or form a GSA. The NDP were joined at the Legislature by Cat Haines, a program director with UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, who has supported many Saskatchewan kids through the challenges of trying to form a GSA.

“It’s vitally important that all students have access to supports and allies in their school,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “That’s why we need more than just a passive policy saying students have the right to start or join a GSA. What we’re hearing is that policy isn’t always followed, and that leaves students vulnerable.”

NDP calls on Water Security Agency Minister to follow court ruling

Today in Question Period, Cathy Sproule, NDP Critic for the Water Security Agency (WSA), pushed for a resolution to Peter and Barbara Onofreychuk’s eight-year fight to save their farm from being flooded by illegal drainage onto their land. In spite of a court order last June upholding the couple’s complaints and finding the WSA in breach of its duty, the WSA has yet to act. The couple now face expropriation of their land by local agencies seeking to flood their land.

“For nearly a decade, Peter and Barbara have been fighting tooth and nail for a resolution to this issue,” Sproule said of the Onofreychuks, who were at the Legislature for Question Period. “After the court ordered the WSA to act, the agency continue to stand by while allowing local entities to take the extraordinary measure of expropriating Peter and Barbara’s land, rather than fixing the drainage mess they’ve created.”

Government procurement leaving Saskatchewan workers by the side of the road, NDP calls for changes

Three quarters of the biggest infrastructure projects awarded under the Sask. Party went to out-of-province and out-of-country companies, and New Democratic Party Leader Ryan Meili is calling for changes to keep those jobs and that money here in Saskatchewan.

“When it comes to making the most out of investments in public infrastructure, the Sask. Party is shutting out Saskatchewan businesses, leaving Saskatchewan workers by the side of the road, and sending public dollars out of province and out of country that could be circulating locally,” said Meili. “These projects represent an investment of over $4 billion in other people’s economies when they could be fueling ours. Saskatchewan people and businesses should be the first to benefit from investment in our roads, schools and hospitals.”

PST on construction continues to hit building permits and construction jobs, NDP says

As the number of construction jobs and the value of building permits continue to drop in the province, the Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the government to cancel its PST hike to construction labour.

“The Sask. Party’s PST hike has hurt our construction industry and its many skilled workers,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “With jobs and major projects at stake, the Sask. Party government needs to finally admit the damage and reverse course.”

‘Blocked more witnesses than Justin Trudeau’: NDP MLAs challenge government to allow judicial inquiry into GTH land scandal

Today, MLAs will be voting on a motion put forward by the NDP that calls for the launch of a judicial inquiry into the GTH land scandal.

“The GTH is $40 million in debt and has only sold 22 acres of land since 2013,” said NDP GTH Critic Cathy Sproule. “The only way to dig out of this mess and begin to recoup the public losses would be to lift the cloud of scandal that hangs over this project by finally calling the judicial inquiry that two Sask. Party leadership candidates once promised. The people of the province deserve to know where their money went, and why the only beneficiaries in this ordeal have been large Sask. Party donors.”