New grain transportation rules need teeth

With much of last year's harvest still in the bins, and with new grain transportation rules due Friday, Saskatchewan's NDP is continuing to push for higher transport-volume requirements and stringent regulations that meet the needs of Saskatchewan's producers.

The federal agriculture and transportation ministers have committed to review the mandatory transport-volume requirements and finalize new grain transportation regulations by Aug. 1.

But, the official Opposition is questioning why Saskatchewan’s producers have still not seen a draft of the regulation changes, and why the provincial government hasn’t demanded answers on their behalf.

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NDP demands answers on government's smart meter fiasco

A day after the provincial government announced it will uninstall 105,000 smart meters, the Opposition Leader said Saskatchewan people have a lot of questions, and deserve answers.  

The six- to nine-month job removing the new meters comes after at least eight fires were sparked by the meters or their installation during the government's smart meter project – a project it committed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on. 

"Yesterday, the government admitted it didn't do the proper due diligence before plowing ahead with its smart meter program," said NDP Leader Cam Broten. "That's frustrating for Saskatchewan families. And it's also incredibly frustrating that this government has so few answers to many important questions."

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Families should not have to pay for smart meter debacle

Meters recalled after government fails to do due diligence

The NDP says Saskatchewan people should not have to pay a dollar for government’s smart meter debacle – which was finally halted today after at least eight fires were started by the smart meters or their installation.

“This file has been mishandled by government from the beginning,” said Cathy Sproule, NDP critic for SaskPower. “The government entered into a contract with an American corporation worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and bought more than 200,000 of these faulty units from a manufacturer that has a track record of fires. Not only have we already paid for these smart meters to be installed, now someone will have to pay – and families will have to wait – for them to removed from our homes.”

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Health care workers should be included under PIDA

PIDA annual report, released Tuesday, says health workers should be included

In agreement with the commissioner, the NDP wants the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) to be changed to include employees of health regions.

“Of those public employees who contact the official Opposition with concerns about their workplace, the majority are health care workers,” said NDP justice critic John Nilson. “Many health care professionals are concerned about patient safety with the implementation of Lean. They have contacted us about specific incidents they say put patients at risk, but so often they want to maintain anonymity because they fear losing their jobs or being punished for speaking out.”

The Public Interest Disclosure commissioner’s annual report says a “significant number” of the inquiries from public employees came from the health care sector this year – but the commissioner’s office doesn’t have the jurisdiction to follow up and protect those workers.

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Government must address smart meter problems

The NDP is renewing its call for the government to actively address serious concerns with its smart meter program after yet another house fire was sparked.

“Families have questions, and they deserve answers from the government,” said Cathy Sproule, NDP critic for SaskPower.

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