Jobs numbers show part-time jobs instead of full-time careers

Instead of creating good, mortgage-paying jobs, Saskatchewan’s jobs market has been lagging and leaning towards part-time employment.

According to new data from Statistics Canada, released Friday, for 18,700 more people in the jobs market, only 2,600 full-time jobs have been created. 4,700 part-time jobs have been added.

That means 65 per cent of all new jobs are part-time, and the unemployment rate has climbed to 5 per cent compared to 3.2 per cent one year ago. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the unemployment rate is 5.5 per cent. Compared to one year ago, 11,400 more people are unemployed and actively looking for work.

“During the resource boom, the Sask. Party really sat back and rode the wave rather than working to diversify the economy and foster growth in a wide range of sectors,” said NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon.

Read more

Cancer care renovation money wasted

Before pipes broke, doctors and other staff time diverted to Lean reno that hasn’t happened

Before a collapsed pipe forced cancer patients out of the Saskatoon Cancer Centre this week, the Sask. Party wasted millions of Saskatchewan Cancer Agency dollars reassigning staff to plan a John Black Lean renovation of the facility that hasn’t happened.

Documents received via access to information laws show thousands of staff days wasted as Saskatchewan Cancer Agency staff attended more than 40 Lean events, most of them five-days long and involving dozens of Cancer Agency employees. For roughly 2,300 staff days, radiation therapists, early detection physicians, oncologists and other health professionals attended John Black Lean workshops instead of treating patients – much of which was spent in “3P” workshops, planning a Lean-inspired renovation of the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency that never happened.

Meanwhile, the current Saskatchewan Cancer Agency building suffered. A collapsed pipe in recent days saw patients rescheduled, and the radiation therapy area needing to be cleaned. About 175 patients’ appointments did not happen Tuesday.

Read more

ER waits: broken promise, now progress delayed for years

With health care jobs being cut and emergency room (ER) waits brutally long, the Sask. Party is now watering down ER wait-time targets, and punting them years down the road.

The Sask. Party government made no progress on meeting Brad Wall's promise of a 50 per cent reduction in ER waits by March 2015 and the complete elimination of ER waits by 2017.

Now, they’ll only try for 60 per cent reduction in waits by 2019.

Read more

Sask. Party still running deficit, taking it out on students and programs

The Sask. Party government admitted Monday that it’s still running a deficit budget – and with cuts in health care already rolling out, the Sask. Party announced Monday it’s chopping at education to try to make up the difference.

The government is reporting an operating deficit of $262 million, not including $700 million in borrowing. The reported deficit would have been $402 million, but that number was softened by a change to accounting practices. By aligning the fiscal year-ends of Crown corporations with core government operations, the government is including an additional three months of Crown revenues in this year's budget.

“It’s pretty shocking that after a decade of record, windfall revenues and unprecedented resource boom, all it took was a few softer months for the Sask. Party to plunge us into deficit,” said NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon. “If only they hadn't drained our rainy day fund, if only they had saved a bit of money and diversified our economy, then the impact of this drop in commodity prices wouldn't be so harsh for Saskatchewan families.

Read more

Brad Wall's become out of touch

Cam Broten uses fall legislature to contrast his choices with Wall’s misplaced priorities

The fall session of the legislative assembly ended Thursday with NDP Leader Cam Broten pointing out that Brad Wall has changed, and his decisions on where to spend and where to make painful cuts have gotten very out of line with Saskatchewan families.

“The Sask. Party has had a golden opportunity with our resource boom delivering revenues like never before over the last decade,” said Broten. “For a time, in the early days of the Wall government, we were actually on pretty similar pages as to what to do with that money. Things like pay down some debt and hire more nurses.

“But Mr. Wall has changed and his priorities just don't match Saskatchewan people's priorities anymore. Instead of our prosperity being used to make life better for everyone, to improve health care and seniors care and education, we’re seeing more and more bad choices that benefit foreign corporations over Saskatchewan businesses, and make life better for government politicians instead of making life easier for families.”

Read more