SaskEnergy Annual Report: NDP calls for comprehensive plan, not partial rebates

According to the Saskatchewan NDP, SaskEnergy’s annual report highlights the need to keep the province’s publicly owned Crown Corporations in the hands of the people of Saskatchewan. And SaskEnergy’s new furnace rebate, NDP Leader Ryan Meili says, underscores the need for a more robust and comprehensive incentive system to help families, businesses and producers transition to cleaner and higher-efficiency energy usage.

“Giving those who can afford a new furnace a rebate on part of the cost isn’t enough to get us where we need to go,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “A furnace may not be the biggest bang for people’s buck, and most people won’t be able to afford the up-front cost. That’s why we continue to call for a comprehensive energy transition incentive plan we call Renew Saskatchewan.” 

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Picture emerging from NDP education survey points to deepening crisis in classrooms

To mark the end of the school year and report on the first three weeks of the NDP’s Brighter Futures Education Survey, NDP Education Critic Carla Beck was joined by Sarah Cummings Truszkowski, a Regina parent and former educator, in front of École Connaught community school in Regina to discuss the state of Saskatchewan schools and the declining supports for Saskatchewan students.

“I have three children at Connaught. It is a brand new, beautiful, state-of-the-art school that was built with cool spaces for music, science, technology, and the arts, but unfortunately these spaces have become unavailable because of overcrowding, and the school yard will soon be full of portables,” said Cummings Truszkowski, a parent who filled out the survey and agreed to share her story publicly. “My children are not getting the best experience possible because the government has failed to provide stable, adequate, predictable funding to school boards.”

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Meili gives Moe failing grade for education cuts, broken promises

With teachers across the province preparing their report cards as the school year comes to an end, the Saskatchewan NDP is issuing a failing grade to Scott Moe’s Sask. Party government. Specifically, Meili called on Moe to account for his broken promise of 400 additional EAs and presented new numbers showing a significant decline in classroom supports over the past few years. This comes as school boards across the country are forced to cut staff and programs or run deficits as they grapple with rising costs and insufficient provincial funding.

“We’ve added 10,000 more kids to our classrooms over the past five years, but supports for those kids have fallen dramatically, leaving kids, educators and parents struggling,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “We’ve heard over and over from educators and parents through our Brighter Future education survey that teachers simply can’t keep up with growing classrooms and declining supports.”

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Construction investment slowed by Sask. Party tax hike

With investment in construction in Saskatchewan at a 10-year low, the NDP Opposition is calling on the government to finally accept the damage done by the expansion of PST to construction labour and repeal it. The latest call comes after Statistics Canada reported that Saskatchewan saw a 16.6 per cent decline in investment in residential construction between March and April – the worst decline in the entire country.

“Hiking the PST and imposing it on construction labour has done nothing but hurt contractors and tradespeople, who are vital to the province’s economy,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “Investment in construction in the province in April fell to its lowest level in a decade. That should be a wakeup call to all that we need a government willing to scrap this damaging tax hike.”

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Meili calls for a poverty reduction strategy, not a cut to income assistance programs

The Saskatchewan NDP is raising concerns about this week’s income assistance program overhaul, saying it amounts to a cut that forces people into impossible choices while they struggle with rising costs. The new Saskatchewan Income Support Program unveiled this week will require people on assistance to pay their own utility bills, but fails to provide enough money to cover those bills. It also mandates social workers to provide “motivational interviews” on making ends meet.

“The cost of living has gone up steeply over the last decade, but assistance rates haven’t budged,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “When you give somebody who is unable to work less to live on than the cost of their monthly bills, no amount of motivational interviewing is going to make up the shortfall. It’s magical thinking.

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“Treat vaping like smoking”: NDP proposes measures to curb rising cigarette and vaping usage by Saskatchewan youth

The NDP and advocates are raising concern over a massive hike in youth vaping in Canada, according to a study released today. NDP Leader Ryan Meili is proposing several measures to address the rising crisis.

“The British Medical Journal’s study shows that there has been a 74 per cent increase in youth vaping in Canada – that’s extremely concerning considering the dangerously high rates of youth smoking we have in the province,” Meili said. “We’re going in the wrong direction on creating a healthy path forward for the youth of Saskatchewan. By failing to take any meaningful action, we are failing the kids of this province.”

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