NDP and Saskatchewan Building Trades call for better procurement to create jobs for Saskatchewan people

Today NDP Leader Ryan Meili, Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon, and Saskatchewan Building Trades Executive Director Dion Malakoff gathered at the Chinook Power Station construction site near Swift Current to call on the Sask. Party government to fix their procurement policies to increase the benefits for Saskatchewan workers.

“When the province spends public dollars on infrastructure projects for Crown Corporations, highways, schools, and hospitals, those dollars should go towards creating jobs for Saskatchewan workers,” said Meili. “Instead, we’ve seen contracts for out-of-province companies, lower average weekly earnings, and higher unemployment for the people of our province. They aren’t delivering when it comes to creating good jobs for Saskatchewan people.”

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Meili commits to $15/hour minimum wage

Today’s meagre increase in the minimum wage to $11.06/hour, the second lowest in the country, leaves Saskatchewan workers struggling to make ends meet.

“When the minimum wage has been so low for so long, an extra dime an hour just doesn’t cut it,” said NDP Leader and Jobs Critic Ryan Meili. “People earning minimum wage work incredibly hard, and they’re still falling behind because of this conservative government’s inaction. No one should be working full time and still living in poverty.”

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RFP raises questions about Premier Moe’s commitment to a new hospital for Prince Albert: NDP

The NDP is calling on Premier Scott Moe to clarify his commitment to a new hospital in Prince Albert. Moe campaigned on a promise of a new, provincially funded hospital for P.A. during his successful run for leadership of the Sask. Party last year, but a recently released request for proposals (RFP) by the Saskatchewan Health Authority for the “redevelopment” of the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert suggests the Premier may now be backing away from that promise.

“The Premier and Finance Minister have repeatedly promised the people of Prince Albert a new hospital,” said Prince Albert Northcote MLA Nicole Rancourt. “We know that this promised new hospital is desperately needed to ensure the people of the city and surrounding area get the care they need, so why is the Sask. Party quietly moving away from this commitment?”

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REALITY CHECK: China is a country

Speaking with reporters Tuesday about his recent trip to China, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe had a Sarah Palin moment, stating that “about 12 percent of our exports go to the continent of China.”

While Moe is correct that China is an important trading partner, China is a country, not a continent.

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NDP raises concerns about Sask. Party’s short-term thinking on long-term care

Long-term health centres across Saskatchewan are showing deterioration after years of underfunding for health infrastructure. Over the summer, the Sask. Party government issued tenders to explore options for private care for displaced long-term care and high-acuity level 3 and 4 residents in Regina Pioneer Village and Grenfell Pioneer Home. These tenders show the government is quietly laying the groundwork to offload residents from public care into private care homes, with this initiative seen as a “field test” for “system transformation” in long-term care.

“Moe and the Sask. Party are choosing short-term thinking over long-term care,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Moving forward with this plan without consulting first with Saskatchewan seniors and caregivers raises serious questions about the Sask. Party’s commitment to high-quality, publicly delivered long-term care.”

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