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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Senior health administrators have scathing criticisms of Lean

In question period today, the NDP revealed an internal government document that contains scathing criticisms from senior health administrators about this government's approach to Lean.

The criticisms include:

"Our experience with [John Black and Associates] has been one of lack of respect, tattling on leaders if they question, expecting rigid conformity in a militaristic style, gossiping, and undermining."

The Lean training consists of "activities that are not meaningful and in some cases are insulting – all of which are part of [John Black and Associates' approach – are not only not educationally sound, but cause skepticism, alienation and frustration."

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Government’s throne speech largely ignores people’s needs: NDP

Government’s agenda has very little for health care, education, cost of living, seniors, highways, flood prevention

The throne speech misses the mark, and shows the government is primarily working to benefit a select few while dismissing the things most Saskatchewan families want and need, according to the NDP.

The speech from the throne outlines the government’s agenda for the year. Wednesday, the government delivered a throne speech that didn’t discuss the need to address run-down, crowded hospitals; the rising cost of living that’s making it very hard to get ahead; and the lack of one-on-one attention for many children in classrooms throughout the province.

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NDP lays out throne speech must-haves

The NDP is laying out a list of priorities and specifics it wants to see in Wednesday’s speech from the throne – chief among them is for this government to stop ignoring the basics in health care and reverse the trend of declining care and long waits in backed up, run-down hospitals.

“This government has billions of additional revenue each year, thanks to our natural resources and to hard-working families. It can afford to deliver on the things we all count on, but instead it obsesses over pet projects that don’t benefit Saskatchewan people,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten.

“It’s time for a direction that focuses on the things that really matter to Saskatchewan families. It’s time for quality health care in clean, well-equipped hospitals and seniors care homes. It’s time for smaller class sizes in our kids’ schools. It’s time for this government to stop forcing families to keep paying extra – because the cost of living is outstripping gains made by people, making it harder to get ahead.”

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Broten blasts premier's two-tier health care proposal

Government’s plan to allow some to queue-jump will leave most waiting longer for surgery

The NDP is sharply criticizing the premier's proposal to fast-track MRIs for those who can afford to pay extra because it will leave everyone else waiting even longer for their surgeries.

The premier's proposal goes well beyond the private care providers currently operating within the publicly funded system. Premier Brad Wall said Thursday he wants a separate diagnostic stream for the wealthy, in which access to expensive MRIs is determined by people's ability to pay rather than by a doctor's assessment of medical need.

“Saskatchewan families don't want two-tier health care, where you gain access to diagnosis and treatment with a credit card instead of your health card,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten. “The reality is that Mr. Wall can create two line-ups for MRIs, but there’s still only one line-up for surgeries. Patients who need surgery but can’t afford to buy an expensive, private MRI will wait even longer while patients who can afford a quick, but expensive MRI get on the surgery list ahead of them. That’s just wrong.”

“The status quo is absolutely not acceptable – wait times are far too long. But I want wait times for MRIs, specialists and surgeries improved for everyone in the province, not just for the select few who can afford it.”

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Saskatchewan NDP Caucus