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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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NDP wants action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations

NDP Leader Cam Broten wants the provincial government to get serious about the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

After six years of national consultations, and after more than 6,750 survivor and witness statements, the TRC released an interim report with its recommendations in June and issued its final report last week. The Sask. Party government has largely remained quiet on the TRC's recommendations.

"We have to seize this unprecedented opportunity to repair the harm and work for reconciliation," said Broten. “Closing the education gap and partnering with First Nations and Métis communities to create loads of jobs and opportunities – that’s the right thing to do, both morally and economically. 

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