Graduation rates stuck as government shorts school funding

During years of resource boom, the Sask. Party government failed to improve overall graduation rates one bit – and with the Sask. Party scrapping the mid-year funding deal for schools, the NDP says the challenge will get tougher.

In a Public Accounts Committee meeting at the legislature on Wednesday, officials revealed that Sask. Party promises to improve the province’s 74.8 per cent high school graduation rate has not been kept. In fact, overall graduation rates haven’t budged. 

Read more

10,400 more unemployed and looking for work

There were 10,400 more people unemployed and looking for work in Saskatchewan compared to one year ago, driving the unemployment rate up.

Read more

Surgical waits continue to climb

New government statistics show that the number of patients waiting more than three months for surgery in Saskatchewan has jumped by 90 per cent since March.

The Sask. Party cut the surgery budget in March, deciding to do thousands fewer surgeries this year. The wait list has grown fast since then.

“They won’t cut their Lean program budget, but they’ll cut thousands of surgeries,” said NDP Health critic Danielle Chartier. “It’s obvious that patients just aren’t their priority anymore.

“To go in the wrong direction so fast that the wait list nearly doubles in just months is absolutely alarming. At this rate, progress on surgical waits will be quickly wiped out.”

At the end of October, 3,195 patients on the wait list had waited longer than three months for surgery, compared to 1,686 patients at the end of March. The change is a 67 per cent increase in Saskatoon, and a whopping 145 per cent jump in Regina. The November and December figures aren’t available yet, but slow-downs in the number of surgeries performed in those months were planned, according to internal health region documents.

Read more

Committee hearing reveals carbon capture lost millions in 2015

$7 million in penalties, $17 million in repairs

Saskatchewan lost millions on penalties, repairs and operating costs on the Sask. Party’s carbon capture experiment in 2015.

That information was revealed in a committee meeting at the legislature on Tuesday during which Cathy Sproule, the NDP’s critic for SaskPower, questioned the Sask. Party’s Bill Boyd and his officials.

Read more

NDP supports CPP expansion, more financial security for seniors

The NDP supports a reasonable, phased-in expansion of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) so that Saskatchewan families have more security in retirement.

The potential expansion of the CPP is being discussed by Canada’s finance ministers in Ottawa today, and Saskatchewan is, again, the outlier. The Sask. Party opposes phasing in modest growth in retirement payments. 

Read more