Failure to invest in education a betrayal of our future, says NDP

From kindergarten through to post-secondary, the NDP is calling out the Sask. Party’s failure to properly fund education in their 2019 budget as a betrayal of teachers, students and Saskatchewan’s future prosperity.

“If you want your economy to do badly in ten years, cut funding to schools and universities -- it’s as simple as that,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “That this government made such a big show of fiscal responsibility this year while leaving schools, colleges and universities dangerously underfunded and falling behind is incredibly short-sighted.”

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“What balance? And at what cost to Saskatchewan people?,” NDP asks

2019 budget off-balance and out of touch

According to the Saskatchewan NDP, today’s provincial budget fails to live up to its only promise: balance. Meanwhile, it has nothing to offer the majority of Saskatchewan people, who are struggling, and leaves Saskatchewan students, families and seniors paying the price for the government’s cuts.

“Far too many people are paying far too much so this government can pat themselves on the back with false celebrations of balance,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili.

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NDP calling on government to address short-staffing concerns in healthcare

The NDP was joined at the Legislature today by Brooke Ofstie, whose family members suffered firsthand the consequences of short-staffing in health, to call on the government to provide proper funding for frontline healthcare.

“Short staffing levels continue to plague the province’s emergency rooms and health care centres,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “While they’re gearing up to celebrate a so-called ‘return to balance,’ we’re seeing in stories like Brooke’s just who is paying the price for their cuts. We need to see action to ensure staffing levels are at a place where every patient receives the care they need, and workers aren’t stretched to the breaking point.”

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NDP calls on Sask. Party to live up to their promise to properly fund long-term care

Rose Botting knows first-hand the damage that underfunded and short-staffed long-term care can cause to a family. Her mother Frances Sander died just days after moving into the Rose Villa long-term care home in Rosetown. Today at the Legislature, Botting joined NDP Seniors Critic Danielle Chartier to share her experience and her concerns.

“The Sask. Party committed in 2016 to using $7.5 million in savings from reduced administrative positions and costs in Regional Health Authorities to fund long-term care, but they have so far failed to do so,” Chartier said. “That’s not fair to families throughout the province whose loved ones aren’t getting the care they need.”

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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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