Sask. Party spending the savings, selling the assets

The Sask. Party government’s year-end financial report shows a government scrambling – it drained millions from the province’s rainy day fund, increased the debt, raided the Crowns and forced even more debt onto universities.

“Saskatchewan businesses keep delivering on a strong economy, but the Sask. Party has been struggling, shuffling money between bank accounts in order to manufacture numbers and using improper reporting,” said Trent Wotherspoon, NDP finance critic. “Selling off assets like a Crown corporation and affordable homes, draining the long-term savings account and still managing to increase the debt are things that deeply concern the Opposition, and they’re inexcusable in a strong economy.”

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Education funding, lack of transparency top NDP concerns from auditor’s report

The Sask. Party has not been building and repairing schools responsibly, neither from a needs perspective nor from a financial perspective.

New schools and school repairs are not necessarily going to the schools and communities with the most urgent need, according to the independent Provincial Auditor Bonnie Lysyk, whose newest report evaluated education capital spending and several other topics.

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Main artery highway still flooded

Despite the pleas of communities, businesses and families for help, the Sask. Party has still not fixed a flooded-out section of Highway 2.

Since May 5, a major highway in north central Saskatchewan has been closed because of flooding. Residents say the Sask. Party government is ignoring their calls for more help while businesses suffer and families struggle with the added challenges resulting from the highway closure.

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NDP wants EnerGuide to continue

Energy-efficient upgrades to 16.9 per cent of homes is a good start – not a mission accomplished -- according to the NDP, which opposes the SaskParty’s decision to scrap the EnerGuide program.

As the Sask. Party and SaskEnergy are warning homeowners to complete the required evaluations to qualify for the incentive program by the end of June, the NDP said the program should be extended.

"The program is working well, and has a lot more work to do," said Cathy Sproule, NDP critic for the environment and for SaskEnergy.

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Health care memo raises privatization questions

According to an internal health care memo, more than a dozen core health care departments will undergo a “business case development.” With the Sask. Party’s privatization of health care laundry services earlier this week, the NDP wants to know how much of health care the Sask. Party could privatize.

“The people of Saskatchewan deserve to know how far the Sask. Party might push privatization in health care,” said John Nilson, NDP health critic. “A privatized system risks putting profits ahead of patients.”

The memo, sent jointly from the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and Shared Services Saskatchewan (3sHealth), describes a three-year plan “for business case development, which will create the forum to bring people together to identify opportunities and develop the strategy to achieve them.” The memo notes that 3sHealth will use private consultants to help develop the business cases.

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