Sask. Party contracting to foreign corps hurting jobs

Statistics Canada reports unemployment up, 8,000 more people looking for work

The Sask. Party’s wave of sending Saskatchewan jobs and contracts to corporations outside the province is costing the province a lot of jobs – and now 8,000 more Saskatchewan people are unemployed and looking for work.

The new numbers from Statistics Canada, released Friday, show there are now 36,600 adults in Saskatchewan unemployed and looking for work – the highest number the province has ever had.

Unemployment has hit 6.1 per cent, or 5.6 per cent when adjusted for seasonality. Some of the largest losses have been in the construction industry, which shed 3,300 jobs last month alone, a net loss of 2,200 compared to a year ago. 

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Radiologists continue to leave RQHR as government stalls on mediation talks

NDP Health critic Danielle Chartier says the Sask. Party has to start prioritizing recruitment and retention of specialist physicians –because by the end of the year, the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR) will be down to only 15 radiologists from about 25.

The number of radiologists leaving is a result of the Sask. Party's move to stop a Regina radiology group from providing in-hospital services to patients. Among those leaving are Regina’s only neuroradiologist and radiologist doing cardiac MRIs.

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To raise graduation rates, school underfunding must end: NDP

Classrooms underfunded by $2.4 billion, according to new report

Following a report that looks at education funding, the NDP said Saskatchewan’s flagging graduation rates aren’t likely to turn around as long as cuts continue in classrooms.

Saskatchewan schools are underfunded by $2.4 billion, according to Underinvesting in Our Future, a report on education funding from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, released Wednesday. That backs up what parents, teachers, students and school boards in Saskatchewan already know – that even during a boom, the Sask. Party was asking teachers and classrooms to do more with less. As a result, Saskatchewan’s flagging graduation rates haven’t improved one bit – they’re stuck at 74.8 per cent.

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NDP calls for investigation into highly concerning land deal

A CBC iTeam investigation has revealed a highly concerning land purchase by the Sask. Party government in which it appears to have paid multiple times the appropriate price – and the NDP is calling for an investigation.

The Sask. Party government had been buying up land for the Global Transportation Hub (GTH) and nearby roads, paying between $9,000 and $23,000 per acre under threat of expropriation. But despite knowing for years they’d need a specific 204-acre stretch of land, they waited until it had been bought by businessmen, then paid them a cool $103,000 per acre – cutting a $21-million cheque.

The government had the land appraised at no more than $35,000 per acre just before offering two businessmen the giant price – 194% more than its appraised value.

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Sask. Party violating balanced budget law

NDP Leader Cam Broten is calling for MLAs to return to the legislature this month to deal with the financial mess the Sask. Party is hiding – which breaks the province’s balanced budget law. 

That call follows an announcement Monday by Brad Wall that the Sask. Party intends to violate The Growth and Financial Security Act. The balanced budget law in Saskatchewan requires the government to balance the budget every year, or in “exceptional events” when that’s not possible, to open the books for complete transparency, and lay out a plan to offset the deficit with a surplus in the very next budget year. In violation of that law, Wall says, if re-elected, he'll run at least two consecutive deficit budgets – but he’s still refusing to disclose any details.

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