NDP to amend motion, support European trade deal in principle

NDP Leader Cam Broten and the Opposition support in principle a tentative trade deal between the European Union and Canada, and will amend a government motion being debated Wednesday to add due diligence in promotion of Saskatchewan’s interests.

"Saskatchewan people and businesses produce world-class products, including some of the best agricultural exports. The NDP is a strong supporter of expanding and diversifying Canada’s trade relationships with the European Union and it’s good for us to seek to open up new markets for what Saskatchewan is selling,” said Broten, who added that his support takes into account the European Union’s democratic nations’ high environmental and labour standards.

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Trouble in education dominates week at legislature

The government cut educational assistants, announced an old-fashioned standardized testing regime and plans to have private consortiums operate schools. These are among the education changes the government has made without listening to teachers or parents.

The NDP put a spotlight on education during the week at the legislature, with NDP Leader Cam Broten continuing to make pre-K to Grade 12 education a top priority.

“Parents and teachers are working harder than ever to give our kids the best education and opportunity for every child to get ahead,” said Broten. “But, this government isn’t doing its part to support education. Instead, it’s throwing wrenches into classrooms like standardized testing, P3 privately-operated schools and moving away from having educational assistants help our kids.

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Broten, NDP support motion to abolish Senate

On Wednesday, the NDP will unanimously vote in favour of abolishing the Senate, and will also vote to repeal the government’s pro-Senate election Act.

The NDP has been pushing to abolish the unnecessary, unelected and unaccountable Senate for decades.

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NDP tables P3 transparency and accountability bill

Trent Wotherspoon, the NDP’s education and finance critic, has tabled a bill that aims to make public-private partnerships (P3s) transparent, accountable and subject to up-front independent value-for-taxpayers evaluations.

Bill 605, The Public-Private Partnership Transparency and Accountability Act, will require an independent accountability watchdog on each P3, and will prevent the government from using the P3 method for major capital projects if there are less than three bidders on the contract. The law would also require the full cost of the project – including the cost of credit – to be reported to taxpayers.

“There should be no public money spent without public accountability,” said Wotherspoon. “Secret deals are not in the best interest of taxpayers. This law will shine a light on P3s so legislators and Saskatchewan families will have all the facts.”

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Cam Broten and the NDP argue for health care turnaround

Understaffing is causing problems in hospitals and seniors care homes, and NDP Leader Cam Broten and the Opposition MLAs called for a solution during the first full week of the fall session of the legislative assembly.

“Listening to the heart-breaking stories of Saskatchewan families, it’s clear that this government is heading in the wrong direction when it comes to patient care and seniors care,” said Broten.

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