Government votes against fixing dishonest bookkeeping

Under questioning about its failed audit, the government voted against a motion Monday to use truthful accounting – a move by the government in favour of protecting its dishonest financial reporting practices.

“This is unprecedented,” said NDP finance critic Trent Wotherspoon. “This government failed an audit as a result of its dishonest accounting practices. For the government to say now it wants to continue those dishonest practices – that’s utter disrespect for taxpayers, and it has to stop.”

In Monday’s Public Accounts Committee meeting, with the independent provincial auditor present, Wotherspoon moved for the committee to vote in favour of rectifying the unprecedented failed audit, and take action to ensure that Saskatchewan's public finances are honest and reliable.

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NDP opposes closure of Pasqua pediatrics

The official Opposition wants the government to change course and stop the closure of children’s treatment units at Regina’s Pasqua Hospital.

Following a decision from the health region, pediatric care in Regina would be delivered only at the Regina General Hospital. Children battling cancer being treated at the Pasqua’s Allan Blair Cancer Centre would be moved to the General Hospital, away from the cancer treatment centre. And, pediatric intensive care would be closed entirely, leaving care for the sickest children only available in Saskatoon.

“This government is dismissing the needs of patients and the pressures of growth while it continues its cuts to health care,” said Danielle Chartier, NDP health critic.

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Finance minister must resign over untrustworthy books: NDP

Saskatchewan’s independent provincial auditor has issued a warning that the government’s central books cannot be trusted – and the NDP is calling for the resignation of the finance minister as a result.

For the first time ever in Canada, the independent provincial auditor filed an adverse audit opinion on the government’s central financial statements. The very serious move from the auditor is unprecedented in Canada. The provincial auditor’s adverse audit opinion states that this government's 2013 general revenue fund statements are "full of errors" and "not reliable."

"It's shocking to have the provincial auditor warn taxpayers that this government's books can't be trusted," said NDP Leader Cam Broten. "If the books can’t be trusted, neither can the finance minister manipulating them. It’s time for the premier to ask for that minister's resignation."

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One-time fund ignores root of seniors care crisis

The government’s one-time seniors-care fund is a response that falls far short of a cure for the crisis in seniors care – a crisis caused by dramatic short-staffing and the absence of minimum standards.

“We welcome the replacement equipment and improvements health regions will get as a result of this allocation, but the root of the seniors care crisis is still being ignored by this government,” said NDP health critic Danielle Chartier after the government revealed the allocation of the funding Friday. “This government is putting a bandaid on a much deeper illness in seniors care.”

The NDP has been raising concern over the treatment of seniors in care for months. Families from throughout the province have come forward to say their loved ones have been left to soil themselves, are being bathed less than once per week and are not being given time or help to eat.

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Government votes against transparency and accountability

On Thursday, the government voted against an NDP bill which would have made public-private partnership projects (P3s) more transparent to Saskatchewan families and more accountable to taxpayers.

“This is a disappointment,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten. “This bill could have put the government on the same page as the rest of us. Saskatchewan people, including the Opposition, want P3 deals to be transparent and accountable to taxpayers, and we don’t want to go down the P3 road if the costs aren’t competitive. I’m somewhat surprised the government refused to support that, even in principle.”

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