NDP calls on Sask. Party to live up to their promise to properly fund long-term care

Rose Botting knows first-hand the damage that underfunded and short-staffed long-term care can cause to a family. Her mother Frances Sander died just days after moving into the Rose Villa long-term care home in Rosetown. Today at the Legislature, Botting joined NDP Seniors Critic Danielle Chartier to share her experience and her concerns.

“The Sask. Party committed in 2016 to using $7.5 million in savings from reduced administrative positions and costs in Regional Health Authorities to fund long-term care, but they have so far failed to do so,” Chartier said. “That’s not fair to families throughout the province whose loved ones aren’t getting the care they need.”

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NDP accuses province of balancing its own books at the expense of municipalities and municipal ratepayers

The Saskatchewan NDP raises the alarm today over the growing amount owed in municipal property tax arrears as a result of the province offloading expenses onto municipalities and driving up costs by expanding PST to construction labour. Over the past four years, the amount owed to Saskatchewan municipalities in unpaid property taxes climbed 12 per cent in Prince Albert, 85 per cent in Saskatoon, 112 per cent in Moose Jaw, and 145 per cent in Regina.

“People across the province are unable to balance their budgets and are falling behind on their property taxes because of all the expenses this government has offloaded onto municipalities,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Now people are supposed to cheer because they achieved ‘balance’ at the expense of people and municipalities? That’s bad policy, and it hurts people.”

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NDP raises concern over lack of transparency with irrigation districts

Today, Agriculture Critic Yens Pedersen raised concerns on behalf of farmers in Saskatchewan irrigation districts who feel bullied by the provincial government. The Sask. Party government is insisting on non-disclosure clauses in connection with its privatization of hundreds of millions of dollars of public irrigation assets.

“Members of irrigation districts are frustrated that they can’t discuss these details without jeopardizing their funding because of government-enforced gag orders,” said Pedersen. “If the Sask. Party government doesn’t want to look like they’re hiding something, they’re doing a poor job of it.”

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NDP call for deeper dive into Sask. Party Minister’s Pinehouse dealings

Given the government’s delayed response to concerns around the Village of Pinehouse, and the then-Minister of Government Relations’ personal relationship with members of village council, the NDP is calling on the Conflict of Interest Commissioner to take another look into the Minister’s acceptance of gifts from Pinehouse officials.

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Advocates join NDP in calling for universal drug coverage

Today, health professionals joined NDP Leader Ryan Meili in calling on the Sask. Party government to support universal drug coverage for Canadians. The federal government is currently formulating a course of action, but the Sask. Party has not thrown its support behind this important initiative.

“Canada is the only country with universal health insurance that doesn’t have universal drug coverage,” said Meili. “This gap does an incredible amount of damage, especially for lower income households struggling to make ends meet. When people are forced to choose between paying their power bill or buying their medication, that’s not right. So why has Scott Moe so far failed to stand up for universal drug coverage for Saskatchewan?”

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NDP and mental health advocates raise concerns around mental health supports

Today at the Legislature, NDP Mental Health Critic Danielle Chartier was joined by 11 individuals who have lived experience with the mental health system to raise concerns around the government not properly staffing Saskatoon’s mental health assessment unit at Royal University Hospital (RUH). There are also questions around the government’s plan to close the unit without providing a clear alternative when the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Adult Emergency Room opens in the fall.

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