NDP introduce by-election bill to close elections law loophole

Unless the Sask. Party government moves to close a loophole their fixed-election-date law introduced, residents of the constituencies of Regina Walsh Acres and Saskatoon Eastview will go more than a year without an MLA before the next provincial election. To close this loophole, NDP Ethics and Democracy Critic David Forbes tabled a bill today that would require a by-election be called within six months of a seat becoming vacant when the period between general elections is more than 48 months.

“MLAs Warren Steinley and Corey Tochor have already been nominated candidates in the next federal race,” said Forbes. “They’re focusing on a job other than what the people of Saskatchewan elected them to do, and by law they’ll have to resign their seats when the writ drops next August. But because of a loophole in the Election Act, the Sask. Party won’t have to face a vote in those constituencies for a further fourteen months, leaving those people with no voice in the Legislature. That’s unfair.”

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Sask. Party failing families as opioid crisis grinds on

The Sask. Party’s failure to create a system where families can get their loved one treatment for addictions is leaving more and more slipping through the cracks, as yet another family has come forward to share their struggles and stand with the NDP in calling for change.

“It’s heartbreaking what families go through when a loved one can’t get treatment for their addiction,” said NDP Mental Health and Addictions Critic Danielle Chartier. “Families are desperate to find help, but that help simply isn’t there.”

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Reality Check: Mixed messages on Regina Bypass leave the public paying more, scratching their heads

The Sask. Party’s mismanaged bypass went from costing Saskatchewan people $400 million to $2 billion. And much like the price tag, the number of concerns around the project that the Sask. Party put in the hands of a foreign conglomerate has ballooned.

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NDP call for transparency in Sask. Party’s library review

Saskatchewan libraries were only saved from deep cuts in the 2017 budget by widespread public outcry, with thousands of people rallying in support. The government walked back those cuts, announcing it would conduct a review of the library system to determine next steps.

Now, serious concerns are being raised about how little is being shared about that review process, and whether the focus of the review is positioning our libraries to meet the evolving needs of communities, or simply cutting costs. The NDP is calling on the government to release the submissions received as part of their review and be transparent with its plans around the library system, but has so far met with silence and obfuscation.

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On National Child Day, Meili raises concern over rising number of baby apprehensions

The number of Saskatchewan babies apprehended in their first month of life has risen 42 percent over the past five years, a Freedom of Information request filed by the Saskatchewan NDP reveals. Such apprehensions of children less than 30 days of age have risen each of the past five years, from 104 apprehensions in 2013 to 148 in 2017.

“The last thing we’d want to be announcing on National Child Day is that over six hundred babies have been taken away from Saskatchewan families over the past five years,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili, “And for those entire five years, we’ve been waiting on this government’s promised overhaul of the foster care system, which they first announced six years ago.”

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