NDP backs several Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce report recommendations
The NDP agrees with several of the recommendations made by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce this week, which says the government’s strategy for development in the north is lacking, as is its understanding of the region.
The report from the Chamber’s Northern Business Task Force calls on the government to provide meaningful investment in northern roads; do more to connect people to career and training opportunities; and provide education for northern children comparable to education in the rest of the province.
The Chamber of Commerce also calls on the premier and cabinet ministers to actually visit the far north, which it says the premier hasn’t done since being elected in 2007.
“This government entirely dismisses the north – its economic potential, its industry contributions and the major challenges northern families are facing,” said Doyle Vermette, the NDP critic for Northern Saskatchewan.Read more
Session is over, but NDP won’t stop pushing for action on seniors care, Lean and smart meters
The fall session of the Legislature ends Monday, but the NDP says the focus on the seniors care crisis, the government’s hugely wasteful Lean pet project and the smart meter fiasco that will cost ratepayers millions is far from over.Read more
The Opposition has been concerned about a trend of cuts in health care and social services jobs, and is disappointed to see another 1,700 jobs in those sectors lost according to Friday’s Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey.
There were also 1,200 jobs lost in the education sector, compared to one year ago.
“Health care workers, case workers for vulnerable children, education sector workers – cutting these jobs as our province grows makes no sense at all,” said NDP Health critic Danielle Chartier.Read more
Under questioning from the NDP, SaskPower’s Chief Financial Officer revealed Monday night that if the government doesn’t install Sensus smart meters on Saskatchewan homes again, it will lose $18 million of Saskatchewan families’ money.
“The deeper we dig on the smart meter settlement this government came to with Sensus, the more it appears to be a horrible deal for Saskatchewan people,” said Cathy Sproule, NDP critic for SaskPower.
“Sensus caused fires on Saskatchewan homes, and put over 100,000 families and homes at risk, But, this government has given them a gift of $5 million, and now another $18 million that is, according to SaskPower’s Chief Financial Officer, not going to be recovered.”Read more
The NDP has reintroduced a bill that would make any public-private partnerships (P3s) the government enters into transparent, accountable and subject to up-front independent value-for-taxpayers evaluations.
NDP Deputy Leader Trent Wotherspoon introduced The Public-Private Partnership Transparency and Accountability Act last fall, but the government voted to defeat it. Wotherspoon introduced the bill again in the Legislative Assembly this week.
The bill would require an independent accountability watchdog on each P3, and would prevent the government from using the P3 method for major capital projects if there are less than three bidders on the contract. The law would also require the full cost of the project – including the cost of credit – to be reported to taxpayers, as well as an economic analysis – important particularly because bundled P3s will likely shut-out construction companies in Saskatchewan.Read more