New Democrats say child protection and foster care system must be fixed

Opposition wants more child protection workers, better supports for foster families and a legislative oversight committee

The Sask. Party government claimed it had stopped housing vulnerable foster children in hotels, but it turns out that wasn't true and they're still doing it. Over the summer, at least 82 children have been housed in hotel rooms.

The Opposition New Democrats want that practice to stop and they want the child protection and foster care system fixed.

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P3 schools to cost at least $176 million more overall

Extra cost is more than $20 million per school

Comparing the Sask. Party’s announced price on P3 schools to recent joint-use school builds, the P3 rent-a-school route will cost taxpayers an extra $176 million.

The government announced Tuesday they’ll pay $635 million for nine joint-use P3 schools, or $70.56 million per school. One joint-use school opened in Swift Current in 2014 cost $51 million. The Willowgrove joint-use school was even less expensive than that, and also not a P3.

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More delays, cost hikes before Children’s Hospital construction

Biggest delay was failed John Black Lean redesign

The NDP is deeply concerned that the Sask. Party’s choices on the Saskatchewan Children’s Hospital have amounted to $56 million more and three years longer compared to promises made in just 2012.

“Thanks to mismanagement and a blind adherence to it Lean guru’s teachings, this government has delayed this hospital for years, and racked up millions in extra costs before they even manage to get shovels in the ground,” said NDP Health critic Danielle Chartier.

Today, the government announced the latest higher price tag for the hospital – $285 million – and said it won’t be finished until late 2019.

The timeline delays and cost overruns on the project are astonishing, said Chartier.

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NDP wants movement on an anti-poverty strategy now

The NDP says recommendations made Monday by an anti-poverty working group look promising – and it wants the government to start taking action now.

The Advisory Group on Poverty Reduction made its final recommendations in a report to the government Monday. Initially, their report was due out in May 2015, and the government has not provided a timeline to respond or move from recommendations to actions.

“Too often, this government announces that a report has been received, then puts the report on a shelf to collect dust and doesn’t take meaningful action on the recommendations,” said NDP Social Services critic David Forbes. “What we need now is action.”

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Sask. Party taking extra power rate hike it said it wouldn’t

Families pay again for smart meter fiasco

Families and businesses will take another cost of living hit – yet another SaskPower rate increase will take effect Sept. 1, even though the government previously said it wouldn’t.

In Sept. 2014, amid controversy like the smart meter fiasco and a luxury renovation plan at SaskPower headquarters, the government said it would hike SaskPower bills three per cent in 2015, lower than the five per cent maximum set by the rate review panel. An extra two per cent increase was announced Friday, meaning the Sask. Party apparently broke its promise.

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