The Speech from the Throne was filled with “old news and old noise” instead of concrete plans to create jobs, restore funding to schools, or work towards better health outcomes for Saskatchewan people, according to NDP Leader Ryan Meili. Meili was also looking for some admission of the damage done by recent government choices, whether it’s the PST hikes or the ongoing mishandling of the GTH but saw none.
“We were disappointed that we didn’t see any commitment to addressing the underfunding of education, a focus on addressing the province’s worst-in-the-nation health outcomes, or the reversal of the harmful expansion of the PST to construction and restaurant meals,” Meili said. “This was the Premier’s chance to make his mark on the province by addressing the real issues that people are struggling with, but he chose not to.”
Much of what was in the Throne Speech consisted of recycling old announcements.
“There was no mention of how to help people who are struggling to pay for their mortgages or how the unemployment rate is higher than it was last year,” Meili said. “There was hardly a mention of the North, nor was there an acknowledgement that one in four kids in our province and six out of every 10 First Nations kids live in poverty. How can we work to fix these problems if the Premier won’t even recognize them?”
Meili said he was happy to see some focus on income assistance and mental health but cautions that he will be holding the government to account to ensure they deliver on their promises, as all too often the Sask. Party talks about taking action but fails to deliver.
“This Throne Speech was more about bluster than building blocks,” Meili said. “Concrete ideas like the NDP’s Renew Saskatchewan or fixing the government’s procurement policies would help get people back to work and make the province stronger. Ignoring the realities that so many are facing, whether it’s related to their job or their children’s education, isn’t a vision that will work for the people of this province.”