Another hit to economic diversity, government cancels innovation program

The technology industry has been dealt a blow by the government – along with the much-needed economic diversity the NDP has been calling for – with the closure of SpringBoard West Innovations.

“Saskatchewan’s NDP is very optimistic about the future of natural resources in the province,” said NDP finance critic Trent Wotherspoon. “But, those commodities will see highs and lows. Saskatchewan people and businesses have given the province a great economic opportunity and this government should be using that opportunity to diversify the economy and build long-term, stable prosperity.”

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Government’s lack of oversight leads to medical school probation

On this government’s watch, the province’s only medical school has been put on probation.

“This government can’t be trusted to manage the details,” said NDP post-secondary education critic Warren McCall. “Despite being warned in 2011 of the problems at the medical school – despite being given two years to fix them and having a dedicated partner in the university administration – this government allowed the province’s only medical school to be put on probation.”

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Government seniors-care review does not address biggest problem

Despite its own review confirming crisis-level understaffing leaving seniors in care homes in desperate conditions, the government is not addressing chronically low staffing levels and their devastating results.

The government report, released today, shows seniors in care homes may go more than a week without a bath and are not given medications on schedule. Continent residents are left to soil themselves when no staff person is available to help them get to the toilet. The report describes short-staffing affecting morning and evening routines, with some seniors required to get out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and back into bed for the night at 5:30 p.m.

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NDP welcomes Wolf Cop, says it proves film tax credit works

The NDP is again calling on the government to reactivate the film tax credit for all production in the province, following the recent news of the special arrangement allowing Wolf Cop to be filmed here with the help of the tax credit.

“We’re thrilled that Wolf Cop will be made in Saskatchewan, and want to see our film industry thrive once again,” said Cathy Sproule, NDP Culture critic. “Wolf Cop is proof that the film tax credit is critical when it comes to film production in Saskatchewan.”

Sproule said this one-off arrangement should be seen as an admission by the government that the tax credit works.

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NDP demands answers on school programs in limbo

The government must clarify which education programs are now suspended or may not return – and what that means for students and teachers.

Programs including the anti-bullying initiative and the task force for First Nations and Métis education, as well as countless other programs, are all on hold while the government figures out its priorities, according to a government official’s comments in the media.

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