With the damage continuing to accumulate from the Sask. Party government’s decision to add PST to construction labour, the NDP is repeating its call for the policy, which is helping drive that industry into ‘deep recession,’ to be reversed.
“This is an industry that should be driving our economy and creating lots of good jobs in the trades, but the province threw a wrench in the engine by adding the PST to construction labour,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “In March we saw 1,400 jobs lost in construction year over year; in April we saw 1,800 construction jobs lost compared to the year before. These are good mortgage-paying jobs that are being lost and good people being hurt because of this government’s damaging decision.”
With more and more people waiting longer in emergency rooms around the province and the Sask. Party government repeatedly downgrading its targets, the NDP is calling for concrete action to finally address the issue.
“Longer emergency wait times means real suffering for Saskatchewan people, and instead of redoubling their effort to meet their targets, they just keep changing their targets,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “When it comes to addressing the unacceptably long wait times that people with emergencies are facing, we need a government that’s able to move the ball, not the goal posts.”
The NDP Opposition, joined in the Legislature today by teacher Jessica Brown and educational assistant Desiree Hamilton, both from Saskatoon, issued a call-to-action for the government to address declining per student funding and climbing class sizes in Saskatchewan classrooms.
“The gulf between the reality facing educators in the classroom and this government’s talking points just keeps widening,” said Education Critic Carla Beck. “Faced with increasingly complex classrooms, teaching staff are doing their best to make sure every student gets the support they need, but they keep having to do more with less.”
Today in the Legislature, with members of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan (SSISS) in attendance, the Leader of the Official Opposition Ryan Meili offered an apology for all the lives that were harmed by the Sixties Scoop.
“We’ve heard from advocates the importance of formally adding our voice to the apology for this severely damaging policy,” Meili said. “Past NDP governments share responsibility for carrying out this policy, so we must also ask forgiveness for the harm done to children, for the pain caused to parents, and for the damage to communities. With this apology, we hope the healing can begin and that we can work towards change.”
Today, NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat introduced Bill No. 617 — The Voluntary Blood Donation Act in an effort to strengthen the province’s volunteer blood donor system and limit safety risks associated with paying for blood donations.
“By making it clear that you can’t pay someone to make a blood donation, we will ensure that donations will stay in the province and serve Saskatchewan people who need it, while also bolstering the volunteer system run by Canadian Blood Services (CBS),” Mowat said.
The NDP is calling on the Sask. Party government to properly fund classrooms, and to track, and set a maximum size for classroom sizes, after years of underfunding have made increasingly crowded and complex classrooms throughout the province more challenging for teachers to manage.
“We have 70 schools in the province that are already overcapacity, and we have classrooms with 30, 40, or even more students,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “The challenges are already there, and they aren’t getting any easier for teachers, especially not when you consider the millions that have been cut from classrooms by this government.”