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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Each $1 saved through Lean costs $1,511, says medical journal

Lean doesn’t help patients, hurts workers

A new study published in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care concludes that Lean doesn’t improve patient care – and cost Saskatchewan a whopping $1,511 for each dollar “saved.”

The study and its scathing conclusion was published Jan. 24 and included research from Lean projects in health care around the world, including a look at the Sask. Party’s sweeping use of the John Black Lean program throughout health care in Saskatchewan.

The study should be the absolute final straw for the disastrous and costly John Black Lean program, said NDP Leader Cam Broten.

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Sask. Party won’t balance budgets, won’t say how deep the hole is

NDP demands full financial update immediately, must be audited by Provincial Auditor

Brad Wall announced Monday that his party will not try to balance the budget for at least a couple years – but refused to tell Saskatchewan people just how deep the financial hole is that the Sask. Party put the province in.

NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon said Monday that a full financial report, to be audited by the independent Provincial Auditor, must be released immediately so Saskatchewan people can see how deep the deficit is, and where all the money is going.

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