Overprescribing opioids has been a contributing factor in the province-wide drug crisis, as Jeremy Bohmann can attest. He was hospitalized for 11 days due to a herniated disc and was prescribed opioids to manage his pain. Bohmann joined NDP Mental Health and Addictions Critic Danielle Chartier today to call on the province to implement the Auditor’s recommendations for mitigating the dangerous and damaging misuse of opioids.
“Last year alone Saskatchewan saw 119 deaths related to opioid usage – that’s over a hundred families devastated by the lack of proper action to handle this crisis,” Chartier said. “It’s imperative that we not only help those who are battling addiction, but also create a system where people battling pain aren’t put at risk of becoming addicted.”
Internal government statistics show a spike in the number of new cases of HIV in Saskatchewan in the first quarter of 2019. In response, NDP Leader Ryan Meili is calling on the government to implement a comprehensive HIV strategy – something advocates have been calling for since at least 2016.
“Fifty more people were diagnosed with HIV in Saskatchewan in the first three months of 2019 alone,” Meili said. “That high number of new cases shows that we still have a lot of work to do. We need a comprehensive strategy to address both the stigma and spread of the HIV virus and ensure that those who have it get the treatment they need.”
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.”