NDP renews legislative call for minimum standards in seniors care

Residents in Care Bill of Rights Act reintroduced

The NDP is continuing its call for the government to address the seniors care crisis in Saskatchewan, including with the reintroduction this week of a bill that will require the government to establish minimum quality of care standards for seniors care homes throughout the province.

“This week, I joined with Margaret Warholm’s family to raise Margaret’s story in the Legislature,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten. “Margaret’s story is one of shocking neglect at a Regina care home. She wasn’t fed. She was left in a bed constantly without being given help to move. She wasn’t given proper medical attention. By the time Margaret was finally sent to a hospital, she was malnourished and emaciated. She had spinal fractures that were untreated. She had a bedsore covering her entire back and her skin has torn open, leaving her in awful pain. Margaret’s story is horrific and one of the worst I’ve heard – but it’s far from the only one.

“I keep hearing heart-breaking stories of people being neglected in care homes. Their dignity and even their health is being sacrificed in seniors care facilities that have absolutely no minimum care standards, and are often badly understaffed. It’s unacceptable, and it has to stop.”

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NDP introduces legislation for better procurement policy

New purchasing law aimed at supporting local business, long-term savings

The NDP tabled The Fairness for Saskatchewan Businesses in Government Procurement Act Monday, which is aimed at ensuring Saskatchewan businesses do not keep losing out while government contracts are continually handed to companies from other provinces or countries.

"This government's current procurement policy is lazy and it's not getting the best value for Saskatchewan taxpayers," said NDP Deputy Leader Trent Wotherspoon. "And it’s leaving Saskatchewan companies out.

"Saskatchewan steel companies tell us they're in lay-off mode because of a lack of work and part of the blame for that is on this government's shoulders, because it keeps giving contracts to companies from Ontario, Quebec, California and Texas. It’s not right that local businesses are having to cut back while the benefits of Saskatchewan’s economy are going to companies and workers from outside our borders."

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Cities’ taxpayers to pay more for P3 schools, minister indicates

The government continues to plow ahead with its plan to have schools maintained and built privately as P3s, and revealed yesterday that in order to do that, taxpayers living in cities with P3 schools will pay more.

The costs of all schools in Saskatchewan are paid by the provincial government and therefore have been shared by all – but now the government says residents will, and should, pay extra if they need more school space in their community.

“We think the cost should be borne by the ratepayers in the areas that are getting the maximum benefit,” Education Minister Don Morgan told reporters at the legislature Thursday.

“Nonsense,” responded NDP Deputy Leader Trent Wotherspoon. “Changing the rules of the game and having just some people kick in extra for basic education now is unfair.

“Families in communities that have crowded and run-down classrooms, and not enough classrooms shouldn’t have to pay more than everyone else in order to get enough class space for their kids. A community that needs a school should have a school.”

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Broten introduces legislation to proclaim Buy Local Day

NDP Leader Cam Broten introduced legislation Monday which would proclaim the first Saturday of each month as Buy Local Day.

The bill follows through on Broten’s pledge to support a grassroots movement of Saskatchewan business owners and residents calling for a monthly Buy Local Day in the province.

“This is a common sense way to promote the incredible value of local businesses, to put Saskatchewan first and to create greater economic sustainability in our province” said Broten. “Even just a small shift in how we support local businesses can have a big ripple effect in our communities and our entire economy.”

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Internal smart meter report shows government put people at risk

Even the government’s internal investigation – one minister investigating another – shows that this government didn’t consider the consequences for Saskatchewan families of the smart meter fiasco, putting families’ safety, their homes and their money at risk.

The government’s report, which was released Monday, revealed that 359 meters failed – a far cry from the eight this government had previously revealed.

“This investigation clearly is not an independent investigation, but even as such it paints a picture of a government that plows ahead with pet projects without due diligence and, most concerning of all, without really considering the consequences for families,” said Wotherspoon. “Safety should have been their top consideration, but that wasn’t a consideration at all until the media reports of fires started piling up.

“And, this government should have known that families don’t want another increase to their SaskPower bills – but went ahead with a $200 million contract with one company, plus the purchase of 100,000 meters, despite lots of red flags.”

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