Opposition wants to see a hyperbaric chamber plan now

NDP brought a stream of patients, advocates to the legislature to oppose Sask. Party decision

The Opposition New Democrats are counting a victory today with a Sask. Party flip-flop on the hyperbaric chamber, with the government finally bowing to pressure and admitting that this life-saving medical device needs to be part of the new hospital in Moose Jaw. 

For months, the New Democrats have been fighting to save the province’s only hyperbaric chamber and insisting that it be housed in the Moose Jaw Hospital, where certified physicians and technicians are already in place. Throughout the spring, the NDP brought a steady stream of patients and advocates to the legislature to join its fight against the government’s bad decision.

The Sask. Party government repeatedly said there isn't enough floor space in the new hospital, which will be significantly smaller than the current hospital in Moose Jaw, but today the government said it's now prioritizing an in-hospital solution and hopes to provide some details in the coming weeks.

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Statement from Cam Broten, Leader of Saskatchewan’s official Opposition, regarding the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission can and should be a watershed moment in Canada’s history. It’s up to all governments to not let this opportunity for change pass.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report paints a fuller picture than we’ve seen before of the Cultural Genocide of generations of First Nations people. The revelation that there were graveyards instead of playgrounds alongside residential schools, and that the death of a child in a residential school was more likely than the death of a solider in the Second World War is haunting. The life-long indelible impact of abuse on survivors is undeniable.

It’s time to move from “apology to action,” as is called for in the report. I believe the most powerful tool we have in moving forward is education. Today, the per-student funding for a child attending a First Nations school is a fraction of the per-student funding in a provincial school. That means a First Nations child starting school at the same time as my daughter and just miles away won’t have equal resources in the classroom, nor equitable curricula, equal access to music education, sports opportunities, career guidance or even a school playground. Because of the shocking disparity between the First Nations and non-First Nations education systems, there is a terrible but unsurprising disparity in graduation rates and achievement. The provincial government needs to do its part, and the federal government needs to fulfill its responsibility to provide high quality, equitable education to all children.

Thank you to the courageous people who contributed to the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and to the commissioners. I will be reviewing the 94 recommendations, and I encourage the Government of Saskatchewan to do the same.


Bypass project contracted to corporation from France

NDP supports a bypass, doesn’t like the government’s choice of location or use of P3

The NDP wants a Regina bypass built – but doesn’t like the government’s choice to outsource the project to an international French-led consortium.

It also has serious concerns about the short-sighted location choice for the bypass – built far too close inside Regina city limits instead of around the city, it will not divert heavy highway traffic as Regina residents hope, and will be in the middle of future Regina growth.

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Check on child protection claims necessary

Minister of Social Services caught exaggerating progress

The Opposition says the progress reports from Donna Harpauer on child protection need a second look after she was caught exaggerating progress on a critical recommendation.

In May 2014 and again in May 2015, the Advocate for Children and Youth recommended that the ministry undertake a contract to investigate the workload of child protection workers. Twice in May 2015, in response to that and other recommendations, Harpauer distributed a public update that claimed her ministry had already entered into such a contract. But, a tender for the contract was noticed after that claim – proving that Harpauer was, at best, uninformed about what is happening in her ministry.

“Ms. Harpauer is simply not taking the major concerns in the foster system and child protection system seriously enough,” said NDP Social Services critic David Forbes. “When she responded to the coroner’s inquest into the death of Lee Bonneau, and again when she responded to a special investigation into the tragic death of a foster child that drowned in a bathtub, I was concerned about the fact that she was pretty dismissive about how much work her ministry needs to do. But, to find out now that even the incredibly slow progress she claimed was being made was overstated – that’s deeply concerning.”

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Every health region identifies short-staffing on CEO tour

Lazy government report literally cut-and-paste from facility to facility, year to year

Every single health region identifies short-staffing and quality of care issues in seniors care homes, despite two years of reports, evidence and devastating family stories that should have caused the government to take action.

And, the lazy and sanitized report is also riddled with, literally, sections cut-and-pasted from both other pages of the same report or even pages from last year’s report, often both.

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