Government must reconsider smart meter installer requirements

Non-qualified electrical workers allowed to install smart meters, thanks to exemption

The government is using workers who are not qualified electrical workers to replace SaskPower and SaskEnergy meters with smart meters. With six fires resulting from meter swaps in just two months, the NDP wants the government to reconsider that policy.

The laws in Saskatchewan require a worker be a journeyman electrician or supervised apprentice to work with the voltage contained in electrical meters, but the government gave the smart meter project an exemption to the law so less-trained workers could remove the existing meters and install the new smart meters.

“We’re concerned that the government’s decision to do the work with less-qualified workers may be putting the safety of people and property at risk, including the safety of the installers,” said Cathy Sproule, the NDP’s critic for SaskPower.

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Government must come clean on condition of health facilities

Families and workers have a right to know about problems, when they will be addressed

As hospitals and health facilities continue to deteriorate, the NDP says it is time for the government to stop sweeping the problems under the rug and start caring for the health infrastructure Saskatchewan people rely on. As another hospital deals with infrastructure failures – Saskatoon’s City Hospital, this time – the government is continuing to hide details about massive problems.

Nearly every detail has been removed or covered up in a report the government has been required to release to the NDP. The Opposition has been demanding the facilities condition report for months after becoming aware the government received it from consultant VFA no later than November 2013.

“Saskatchewan families, patients and health care workers have a right to know what has been given a failing grade, what the government is and is not replacing, and what is at the top of the priority list,” said John Nilson, the NDP’s associate critic for health.

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NDP calls for free fishing weekend to be moved

The NDP is calling on the government to move free fishing weekend to a later date, when all Saskatchewan’s lakes are safe.

Tuesday, a public health advisory cautioned people to avoid several lakes in the southern part of the province because they are contaminated with E.Coli, caused by flooding. But, today the government announced that the upcoming weekend is free fishing weekend and called on Saskatchewan families to fish without a license, encouraging them to submit photos to the government for a tourism contest.

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Government ignoring more than $2.2 billion in needed hospital repairs

Saskatchewan’s hospitals and health facilities need over $2.2 billion in repairs, according to segments of a report released today – necessary repairs the government has been ignoring.

The report prepared by consulting firm VFA has been kept under wraps by the government, but segments of its findings were released Friday afternoon.

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Statement by Cam Broten, Leader of the Opposition

As we mark 147 years as a nation, our minds and hearts in Saskatchewan are with those coping with still-rising water, and the damage, heartache and stress caused by flooding.

Residents, neighbours and volunteers are working to keep each other safe and protect communities, showing, once again, that Saskatchewan is at its best when facing the worst. 

The official Opposition has been contacting leadership in the affected areas, and I am committed to serving as a constructive partner as cities, towns, villages, rural municipalities and First Nations look for information and support. We will be vigilant in ensuring the government is doing its part in the most efficient and effective way, so Saskatchewan families, producers and businesses can recover as quickly as possible.

Thank you to emergency personnel and to those in the media who have worked to keep us all informed and safe. The greatest gratitude is to each of you who have carried a sandbag, given your neighbours a ride to safety, made a donation to the comfort and recovery efforts or welcomed a displaced family into your home. Saskatchewan people have risen to the occasion once again, and I know the legions of volunteers and donors will be joined by many more in the coming hours and days.

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