New Democrats introduce bill to boost green jobs, green energy

The Opposition New Democrats have introduced a bill to boost green energy in Saskatchewan while delivering more jobs and a diversified economy.

The Green Energy, Green Jobs and Diversified, Sustainable Economy Act was introduced Monday by Environment critic Cathy Sproule. The legislation establishes targets for energy efficiency, renewable energy and a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“The Sask. Party government has watered down targets and slashed climate change strategies,” said Sproule. “This government is clearly old-school and unwilling to adapt. They wrongly believe that the environment and economy are at odds instead of embracing the reality: green energy creates good jobs, and expands and stabilizes the economy. Saskatchewan needs to diversify and strengthen our economy now, and we need to protect the environment and secure the beauty and health of our province for the long term. The time for real action is now and this legislation is an important step.”

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Taxpayers spend a mint for Brad Wall's travel scouts

Staff sent well in advance to interview luxury hotels, ask for upgrades, preview rooms and menus

Before Brad Wall goes on a trip, highly paid staff go first to make sure everything will be to Wall’s liking.

Their trips include extensive time touring multiple luxury hotels in each city to select where the premier will stay, including meeting with hotel management to ask if they’ll give Wall an upgrade and to request a member of the hotel staff be assigned to the premier's delegation and reachable by cell phone 24-hours a day. The travel scouts view the locations of meals and events the premier will attend, asking about seating arrangements and menus. They have also arranged an additional car so the premier doesn’t have to ride with the rest of his delegation.

The trips are usually taken over a month in advance by two senior government staff making approximately $116,000 and $161,000 per year. Information about the premier’s travel scouts was obtained by the Opposition New Democrats via freedom of information laws.

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NDP introduces anti-bullying act

The official Opposition introduced a bill Thursday that will ensure students who request a Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA, also known as a Gay-Straight Alliance) at school cannot be denied.

The Respect for Diversity - Student Bill of Rights Act also gives students the right to have any cyber-bullying or other bullying concerns properly addressed by their school administration; and that students have the right to have any disability appropriately accommodated.

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Gaps revealed by Bonneau inquest warrant major change

New Democrat Social Services critic David Forbes said he wants to see immediate action from the government in response to the deficiencies within Social Services revealed by the coroner’s inquest into the homicide of six-year-old Lee Bonneau.

Forbes said he wants to see a plan to implement the recommendations, and a schedule to report publicly on progress.

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NDP introduces bill for better schools

The official Opposition introduced The Student Bill of Rights Act Thursday, a bill to guarantee students better learning conditions by addressing things like class sizes, bullying and access to one-on-one help.

“It’s unbelievable and frustrating that after a decade-long boom, we don’t have one of the best school systems in the country,” said David Forbes, associate Education critic for the Opposition.

“Many schools are run down and literally crumbling. There’s no real action being taken to stop bullying in schools. And, this government cut hundreds of educational assistants and their numbers have never caught up with the growing student population. We’ve got kids in classes of 30 or more students with no one to turn to for one-on-one help when they need it. All students deserve better, whether they have exceptional learning challenges, or need to be challenged to excel.

“Saskatchewan has had record revenues, and this government has been spending every penny of it and then some, but leaving students without the resources and supports they need. That has to stop. It’s time to prioritize students and education.”

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