Time for government to release travel expenses, says NDP

The NDP is reminding the government that Saskatchewan people want to see all ministerial travel expenses, along with the expenses of entourages that travel with ministers, posted online starting this month.

The call for expenses to be posted online came after the NDP revealed then-minister of Social Services June Draude took a trip with a friend as well as a member of her family on the taxpayers’ tab. Draude and her companions visited another friend in Ghana, then travelled to London. Minimal government business was arranged to justify the trips, but Draude billed taxpayers for a chauffeured limo that was, in part, used for sightseeing in London, as well as a high-end luxury hotel for the three. Draude has repayed a small portion of the $19,000 cost for that trip.

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NDP opposes government’s pricey scheme to contract out photo radar policing to Xerox

The government is planning to give Xerox $4.5 million over just two years to run eight photo radar traps in Saskatchewan – a scheme the NDP says is too expensive, and doesn’t make sense.

Under the government’s plan, employees of Xerox in Edmonton will review images from photo radar cameras in Saskatchewan, and Xerox employees will issue speeding tickets to Saskatchewan drivers on behalf of the police. For each of the eight cameras, Saskatchewan will give Xerox more than a half-million dollars.

“The government’s plan just doesn’t make sense,” said NDP Deputy Leader Trent Wotherspoon. “For $4.5 million dollars, this government could hire more than 40 new police officers. Instead, they’re going to use that money to have a Xerox employee in Edmonton look over photo radar images and issue tickets to Saskatchewan drivers.”

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Stats Can shows continued health care and social services job cuts

There are 4,300 fewer health care and social services workers employed in Saskatchewan compared to one year earlier, while health care facilities have been growing increasingly crowded, dirty and backlogged.

The continued cuts to jobs in the health care and social services sector, including another 500 jobs lost last month, were revealed Friday in the Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada. The update shows Saskatchewan’s natural resources and hard-working people are delivering very strong employment results, but the government is going in the wrong direction when it comes to health care.

“The hours-long emergency room waits, filthy dirty conditions and people lying in a seniors care bed or hospital bed with painfully long stretches before a health care worker comes in to deliver basic care – these are all symptoms of understaffing, and it has to stop,” said NDP Deputy Leader Trent Wotherspoon.  “This government is obsessed with consultants and managers, including its $40 million American Lean consultant. It’s completely ignoring the basics in health care.”

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NDP wants Dr. Cooke Extended Care Centre repaired, kept open

Health and seniors care in Lloydminster desperate for improvement, says NDP

The NDP is calling on the government to fix and keep open the Dr. Cooke Extended Health Centre in Lloydminster.

The government is planning to tear down a wing of the Dr. Cooke seniors care home, taking away 55 beds. This, despite the fact that the city is facing a shortage of seniors care options and spaces, causing ripple effects throughout the system including at the Lloydminster Hospital.

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NDP wants health facility repair priority list made public

Insects infest Yorkton ORs, NDP demands to know when government will tackle hospital repairs

The NDP is calling on the government to release the capital plan for health care facilities with a timeline for when repairs will happen.

A year-old audit showed a staggering $2.2 billion in desperately needed repairs to Saskatchewan’s hospitals and health facilities. That figure includes $28.1 million in needed repairs in the Yorkton Region Health Centre, which has now cancelled 20 surgeries because of an insect infestation in its operating rooms.

“This government is allowing our hospitals and seniors care homes to get run down and filthy. In some cases, like Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital, they’re literally crumbling,” said Danielle Chartier, NDP health critic.

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