With costs for the planned Regina bypass skyrocketing to almost $2 billion, the NDP is calling for a short pause on the project in order to head off a disaster while saving taxpayers money and delivering the safest, most efficient route.
The NDP also wants overpasses tendered and built on Highway 1 East immediately, and traffic lights installed as an interim safety measure to avoid more devastating collisions on the corridor.Read more
The Opposition joins residents south of the Quill Lakes in expressing serious concerns about how the provincial government is handling high water in danger of damaging farmland, and the government proposal to divert salt water into Last Mountain Lake.
The government’s Water Security Agency showed up to a meeting with local leaders last week and presented only one option to address the situation – diverting water inflow from Kutawagan Creek to Last Mountain Lake. Despite the potential environmental danger of diverting salt water into a fresh water lake, the government says it may skip the important environmental assessment.
NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon said there are red flags all over the government’s moves on this.Read more
Opposition joins with Information and Privacy Commissioner to demand stronger legislation
The NDP joins Saskatchewan's Information and Privacy Commissioner in calling on the government to apologize for violating the privacy of a health care worker, and agrees the legislation must be tightened up to prevent the premier and his senior political staff from doing it again.
In a report released Tuesday morning, Commissioner Ron Kruzeniski ruled that several government agencies were involved in violating the privacy of a Saskatoon care aide after he publicly blew the whistle in the spring on chronic understaffing and neglect in the seniors care home where he worked. The commissioner concludes that the seniors care home inappropriately provided details of the employee's personal employment history to the Ministry of Health by email at 10:34 a.m. on April 20, 2015. Those details were immediately shared with the premier's office, and between 12:01 p.m. and 1:38 p.m. on the same day, the premier's chief of operations and communications sent "many emails" to the media in order to leak the inappropriately obtained details.
Shockingly, the premier has admitted to proactively ordering the leak of the individual's confidential information because he found himself in a political "conundrum" and he repeatedly said he has no regrets.
"The commissioner's report says that the care home, the health region and the health ministry all broke the law when they fed this confidential information to the premier's office," said NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon. "Due to a loophole in the legislation, the commissioner was prohibited from ruling on Mr. Wall's actions, and that's why the commissioner wants the legislation strengthened, because let's be clear: Mr. Wall and his political staff are the ones who made the disturbing decision to send a flurry of emails to media in a clear attempt to publicly smear an individual citizen. Mr. Wall attacked a private citizen's reputation and intimidated thousands of front-line health care workers. Mr. Wall may have gotten off on a technicality, but what he did was absolutely wrong. Mr. Wall needs to apologize and we need to take steps to ensure he can never do this to anyone else, ever again."
The Sask. Party says it wants to find another use for Saskatchewan’s soundstage, and NDP Culture critic Cathy Sproule says that’s proof-positive that Saskatchewan needs to bring the film tax credit back.
“We have a world-class, state of the art, purpose-built $12 million soundstage right here in Regina,” said Sproule. “Just a few years ago, it was full. The film industry was booming, even developing programs to train more people to work in film in response to the sheer volume of movies being shot there.
“It was a $65 million per year industry for our province. And it’s all but gone. It’s time to bring back the program we know works.”Read more
Resident care problems at Providence Place have become so serious that one family moved their loved one out, while others say soaring temperatures and understaffing are still putting their loved ones at risk in the care home.
“Families are telling me that basic needs are going unmet at Providence Place,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten in Moose Jaw on Wednesday. “That’s absolutely unacceptable. We can afford to do better in Saskatchewan – but the government has to stop dismissing these concerns. While the Sask. Party takes a head-in-the-sand approach on seniors care and long-term care, people are being put at risk.”
Kim White moved her grandmother, Doreen Wolfe, out of the care home at the end of July, taking a leave of absence from her job to take her grandmother into her own home. The lack of staff and lack of care standards were dangerous at Providence Place, says White.
Wolfe moved into Providence Place, a Moose Jaw long-term care home, in February. Within a week of moving in, the 77-year-old had a broken hip and soon after a six-inch bedsore stretched across her lower back.