Families should not have to pay for smart meter debacle

Meters recalled after government fails to do due diligence

The NDP says Saskatchewan people should not have to pay a dollar for government’s smart meter debacle – which was finally halted today after at least eight fires were started by the smart meters or their installation.

“This file has been mishandled by government from the beginning,” said Cathy Sproule, NDP critic for SaskPower. “The government entered into a contract with an American corporation worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and bought more than 200,000 of these faulty units from a manufacturer that has a track record of fires. Not only have we already paid for these smart meters to be installed, now someone will have to pay – and families will have to wait – for them to removed from our homes.”

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Health care workers should be included under PIDA

PIDA annual report, released Tuesday, says health workers should be included

In agreement with the commissioner, the NDP wants the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) to be changed to include employees of health regions.

“Of those public employees who contact the official Opposition with concerns about their workplace, the majority are health care workers,” said NDP justice critic John Nilson. “Many health care professionals are concerned about patient safety with the implementation of Lean. They have contacted us about specific incidents they say put patients at risk, but so often they want to maintain anonymity because they fear losing their jobs or being punished for speaking out.”

The Public Interest Disclosure commissioner’s annual report says a “significant number” of the inquiries from public employees came from the health care sector this year – but the commissioner’s office doesn’t have the jurisdiction to follow up and protect those workers.

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Government must address smart meter problems

The NDP is renewing its call for the government to actively address serious concerns with its smart meter program after yet another house fire was sparked.

“Families have questions, and they deserve answers from the government,” said Cathy Sproule, NDP critic for SaskPower.

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Record-high number of critical incidents in health care

Government’s Lean program is hurting care

The health system caused more critical incidents in Saskatchewan’s hospitals and health facilities last year than in any other year – another indication the government’s Lean overhaul of health care is making things worse instead of better, according to the NDP.

The Ministry of Health annual report shows 195 critical incidents for the 2013/14 fiscal year. That’s up from 161 a year earlier and 127 the year before that. Critical incidents are defined as the actual or potential loss of life, limb or function caused by the health system.

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Beds for seniors with dementia cut in Yorkton

Vulnerable seniors with dementia are being moved out of the dementia unit at the Yorkton and District Nursing Home as spaces are being cut for budgetary reasons.

One full wing of the 48-bed dementia unit is closing. Some residents with dementia will be moved to beds in the care home that are not specialized for dementia care while others will be moved out of Yorkton to find a placement.

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