NDP accuses province of balancing its own books at the expense of municipalities and municipal ratepayers

The Saskatchewan NDP raises the alarm today over the growing amount owed in municipal property tax arrears as a result of the province offloading expenses onto municipalities and driving up costs by expanding PST to construction labour. Over the past four years, the amount owed to Saskatchewan municipalities in unpaid property taxes climbed 12 per cent in Prince Albert, 85 per cent in Saskatoon, 112 per cent in Moose Jaw, and 145 per cent in Regina.

“People across the province are unable to balance their budgets and are falling behind on their property taxes because of all the expenses this government has offloaded onto municipalities,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Now people are supposed to cheer because they achieved ‘balance’ at the expense of people and municipalities? That’s bad policy, and it hurts people.”

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NDP raises concern over lack of transparency with irrigation districts

Today, Agriculture Critic Yens Pedersen raised concerns on behalf of farmers in Saskatchewan irrigation districts who feel bullied by the provincial government. The Sask. Party government is insisting on non-disclosure clauses in connection with its privatization of hundreds of millions of dollars of public irrigation assets.

“Members of irrigation districts are frustrated that they can’t discuss these details without jeopardizing their funding because of government-enforced gag orders,” said Pedersen. “If the Sask. Party government doesn’t want to look like they’re hiding something, they’re doing a poor job of it.”

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NDP call for deeper dive into Sask. Party Minister’s Pinehouse dealings

Given the government’s delayed response to concerns around the Village of Pinehouse, and the then-Minister of Government Relations’ personal relationship with members of village council, the NDP is calling on the Conflict of Interest Commissioner to take another look into the Minister’s acceptance of gifts from Pinehouse officials.

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Advocates join NDP in calling for universal drug coverage

Today, health professionals joined NDP Leader Ryan Meili in calling on the Sask. Party government to support universal drug coverage for Canadians. The federal government is currently formulating a course of action, but the Sask. Party has not thrown its support behind this important initiative.

“Canada is the only country with universal health insurance that doesn’t have universal drug coverage,” said Meili. “This gap does an incredible amount of damage, especially for lower income households struggling to make ends meet. When people are forced to choose between paying their power bill or buying their medication, that’s not right. So why has Scott Moe so far failed to stand up for universal drug coverage for Saskatchewan?”

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NDP and mental health advocates raise concerns around mental health supports

Today at the Legislature, NDP Mental Health Critic Danielle Chartier was joined by 11 individuals who have lived experience with the mental health system to raise concerns around the government not properly staffing Saskatoon’s mental health assessment unit at Royal University Hospital (RUH). There are also questions around the government’s plan to close the unit without providing a clear alternative when the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Adult Emergency Room opens in the fall.

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NDP and members of Grenfell and area communities call on government to restore publicly delivered long-term care

More than a dozen people from the communities of Grenfell and Broadview joined the NDP at the Legislature today to call on the government to restore publicly funded, publicly delivered long-term care in Grenfell. This call has been consistently made in the nearly seven months since the long-term care centre in Grenfell was shut down because it was riddled with mold and asbestos.

“The people of this community have been working tirelessly to raise money to get their facility back, but they’ve been left in the dark by the Sask. Party,” said NDP Seniors Critic Danielle Chartier. “They don’t want those jobs that serve the community to go to a private corporation, they want them to remain public.”

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