Broten’s focus on challenging misplaced priorities, forcing progress on what matters

NDP leader asks: where did all the money go?

This government keeps neglecting the real needs in classrooms, hospitals and seniors care homes while it continues to spend on wasteful pet projects, says NDP Leader Cam Broten – and that will be the focus of the spring session of the Legislative Assembly, set to start Monday.

Broten said health care, the seniors care crisis, and the deteriorating situation for young students is what should be at the top of the agenda – and he’ll use the spring legislative sitting to push those issues.

“We've had a decade of significant resource wealth. We still have billions more coming in and being spent by this government every year,” said Broten.

“But, more and more, people are asking where all that money has gone.”

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NDP asks: what the heck does government think “essential” travel is?

The NDP wants the government to explain its criteria for “essential” travel after a Crown corporation CEO charged taxpayers for his trip to Oscar parties in Los Angeles.

J.P. Ellson, CEO of Creative Saskatchewan, spent taxpayer dollars on a trip to Los Angeles last weekend for the Academy Award festivities.

“This government’s growing sense of entitlement is turning the so-called non-essential travel freeze into a joke,” said NDP critic for culture Cathy Sproule, who added that this particular example is a painful one for Saskatchewan’s former film industry.

“I’m sure the Sask. Party government’s representative was one of the few current Saskatchewan residents there, after it essentially forced most film industry workers to get out of the industry, or get out of the province." 

Sproule said it's time for an explanation from the government. "Creative Saskatchewan is operating in the culture this government has created, and operating under the Sask. Party government’s rules for spending and travel."

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Premier’s Library vanity project a waste of time and money

The Sask. Party government spent months working to create a “Premier’s Library of Saskatchewan,” based on American examples including a presidential library. The NDP says the pet project is a huge waste of time and money, and shows the government’s growing sense of entitlement.

“To believe that things like the premier’s notes and photos should be on display in a museum shows no common sense, but quite a bit of ego,” said NDP Central Services critic Warren McCall. “What’s worth keeping can certainly be housed and displayed in our provincial archives or any one of our existing museums or universities.”

The NDP has obtained a proposal dated May 24, 2013 for the “Premier’s Library of Saskatchewan.” The proposal calls for an $806,250 incremental budget for the Territorial Building to be prepared, and proposes several staff and on-site consultants be hired to manage items like the premier’s manuscripts, prints and photographs, and “fine art.” According to the proposal, one of the models for the Premier’s Library of Saskatchewan is the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in the United States.

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More seniors being sent far from home is a step in the wrong direction: NDP

Waiting to move into a seniors care home is already hard on seniors and their families – moving them far away from home to wait is a further step in the wrong direction when it comes to seniors care, according to the NDP.

Seniors in the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region will now be subject to a 150-kilometre radius first-bed policy, the health region said Tuesday. That means, a Regina senior waiting for a space in long-term care will wait in the first available bed – which may be as far away as Cupar, Long Lake Valley or Lestock. The policy comes into effect on July 1.

“We should be working hard to bring seniors closer to home. Closer to their family, family doctor and support system,” said Danielle Chartier. “Moving into a seniors home is a very traumatic time for many people, and this makes that even harder. There is a shortage of seniors care spaces in many communities, and this government should be fixing that by adding seniors care beds – not by shipping our loved ones away from their homes.”

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Broten wants government to stop scaling back rural health care

A day after touring the Craik and District Health Centre, and meeting with community members, NDP Leader Cam Broten again called on this government to refrain from scaling back health care services in the community.

“The people of Craik and area are not asking for anything that they haven't had for 100 years. They simply want to be able to keep their doctor and the vital health care services they deserve,” said Broten. “There’s no excuse for the Sask. Party government to be cutting back health care services in Craik, especially when the doctor wants to keep working there and keep saving lives there.”

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Saskatchewan NDP Caucus