Hire all qualified firefighting applicants: NDP

Over the last 24 hours, over 600 people have contacted the government because they want to join Saskatchewan's forest firefighting crews, and the NDP wants all qualified applicants hired.

First Nations leaders in northern Saskatchewan pushed the government repeatedly to hire more firefighters. Finally, the government agreed, but committed to only about 250. Just $56 million was set aside for wildfire management this year, including for firefighters, compared to more than $102 million in 2009-10 – and the NDP wants the provincial government to staff-up again.

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Sask. Party hires zero Sask. companies as part of hospital P3

The government will give a P3 contract to build and maintain the Saskatchewan Hospital at North Battleford to an international consortium that does not include even one single Saskatchewan business.

The contract will be negotiated with a consortium from the United Kingdom, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. It includes:

  • United Kingdom corporation Carillion
  • United Kingdom corporation Carillion Private Finance
  • Quebec corporation WSP Canada
  • British Columbia corporation Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning
  • Alberta corporation Graham Design Builders
  • Alberta corporation Gracorp Capital Advisors
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Cam Broten supports call for more firefighting resources, including Canadian Forces

As several more communities are evacuated due to major forest fires in northern Saskatchewan, NDP Leader Cam Broten wants to see more resources on the ground to fight the fires, backing the call of northern leadership.

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, the Prince Albert Grand Council and local chiefs declared a state of emergency on Saturday afternoon, and called for more resources from the provincial and federal governments, including the Canadian Forces. Saturday, La Ronge, Air Ronge and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band were given evacuation orders.

“We can’t express our gratitude enough to the firefighters in the north – they’re true heroes and they’re working tirelessly,” said Broten. “But at the moment, they don’t just need thanks. They need more resources.

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Government neglect of deteriorating schools puts children at risk of asbestos exposure

The Sask. Party government's refusal to fix deteriorating schools throughout the province is putting children and educators at risk of potential asbestos exposure.

Last week, the Opposition New Democrats revealed information about three of the schools the government has refused to fix. All three are listed on the province's asbestos registry:

  • Rosthern Elementary School's "structural pad is sinking, causing large gaps in the walls and concerns of plumbing line failure." According to the asbestos registry, it has asbestos in tiles and pipeline fitting compound. 
  • Rosthern High School's roof is "leaking, rotting and in danger of collapse" and "drywall is falling from the ceiling in the library." It has asbestos in cement board and tiles.
  • Colonsay School has "structural damage to roof/walls of the gym." It has asbestos in cement board and tiles in the gym.
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Government financial statements show piles of new debt

The government's latest financial statement confirms that its net debt went up by $937 million last year, which is 105 per cent higher than the government had budgeted.

"Saskatchewan people are increasingly frustrated when they keep hearing about this government adding more and more debt," said NDP Deputy Leader and Finance critic Trent Wotherspoon. "This government has had record revenues for eight long years, yet it's blown through all that money and hasn’t saved a dime for the future.”  

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