Q1: increasing debt hidden, health care ignored

The government’s first quarter financial update released Thursday shows it’s ignoring big problems in health and seniors care while hiding its increasing debt.

“By reading the government’s first quarter financial update, it’s clear this government is ignoring problems in health and seniors care,” said Trent Wotherspoon, NDP deputy leader and critic for finance.

“There’s not a dime redirected to actual health care from the massive allocation to its Lean experiment, and no adjustment in the first quarter to address the seniors care crisis. Is this government not listening at all? We know this government is still spending untold millions on American consultants and Japanese senseis for its Lean experiment – that money needs to be redirected into front-line care.”

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Time to send American smart meter company packing, says NDP

With the tenth smart meter fire in the province, and SaskPower acknowledging installers need more training, the NDP says the government’s contracting out experiment has failed – it’s time to send the Texas license plates back to Texas.

The government chose to contract out the smart meter project, and allowed the American company it hired to use inexperienced workers with about a week of training instead of qualified electricians. In a move that seemed to acknowledge that the untrained workers are putting themselves, families and homes in danger, a bit of extra training was announced last week.

“The government’s $200 million contract with this American company has been a complete and dangerous failure. It’s time to look for a full refund on the $200 million contract, and send the Texas licence plates back to Texas,” said NDP Deputy Leader Trent Wotherspoon. “SaskPower has qualified electrical workers, and they should have been doing this job from the beginning.”

 

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It’s government’s privatized way, or nothing

NDP calls on government to support a second bridge in Prince Albert without privatization demands

The provincial government has taken its privatization push to a new level. It has repeatedly stated that it believes Prince Albert doesn’t need a second bridge – but now says it will consider chipping in only if the city chooses a typically more expensive P3 method for the bridge.

“Prince Albert families and businesses need a second bridge. They do not need manipulative political games,” said Trent Wotherspoon, NDP deputy leader. “Telling Prince Albert their only hope for a second bridge under this government is if they go the privatized route is an attempt by this government to hold a city hostage to its politics.”

Wotherspoon said the government’s story doesn’t add up.

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No toxic waste storage above Dalmeny aquifer, demands NDP

In the wake of the devastating British Columbia tailings pond spill, the NDP is calling on the Saskatchewan government to reverse its decision to approve the Fortune Minerals plan which would see toxic waste stored right above a vital aquifer.

The proposed Fortune Minerals processing plant near Langham would generate 158,000 tonnes of toxic waste every year, including cyanide and arsenic. This waste would be stored permanently in pits at the site, right on top of the Dalmeny aquifer, the area's main source of drinking water.

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6,200 jobs cut from health care and social services

While Saskatchewan people are working harder than ever – and it shows in July’s labour statistics – the government has continued the alarming trend of shedding jobs in health care and social services.

There were 6,200 fewer jobs in the category of health care and social services in July, compared to one year earlier. 2,300 of those jobs were lost in just one month, between June and July, according to Statistics Canada’s July Labour Force Survey, released Friday.

“We know hospitals, seniors care homes and other health centres are short-staffed – often so short-staffed that patient care is compromised and patient safety is put at risk,” said Trent Wotherspoon, deputy leader of the Opposition. “Complicating matters, far too many of the jobs we do have in health care are for senior administrators – not front-line staff, caring for and treating patients.”

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