According to an internal health care memo, more than a dozen core health care departments will undergo a “business case development.” With the Sask. Party’s privatization of health care laundry services earlier this week, the NDP wants to know how much of health care the Sask. Party could privatize.
“The people of Saskatchewan deserve to know how far the Sask. Party might push privatization in health care,” said John Nilson, NDP health critic. “A privatized system risks putting profits ahead of patients.”
The memo, sent jointly from the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region and Shared Services Saskatchewan (3sHealth), describes a three-year plan “for business case development, which will create the forum to bring people together to identify opportunities and develop the strategy to achieve them.” The memo notes that 3sHealth will use private consultants to help develop the business cases.
NDP Leader Cam Broten will introduce a bill to eliminate the Sask. Party’s pro-Senate act as soon as the Legislative Assembly resumes.
The Senate Nominee Election Act was passed by the Sask. Party government in 2009. Broten’s bill, a repeal act, will be put to all Saskatchewan MLAs in the fall.
"It’s time for each MLA to show leadership," said Broten. "I want to take every legal reference to the Senate off Saskatchewan’s books to clear the path for abolishing the unelected, unaccountable and scandal-plagued Senate."
NDP Leader Cam Broten is leading a push for better seniors care in Saskatchewan – which he made a major focus during the spring session of the legislature.
Broten announced on the day he became NDP and Opposition leader that seniors care would be a top priority for the new NDP, prompting a flood of Saskatchewan people to come forward to share their family stories.
"What we heard from people like Carrie Klassen and Lynne Seaborne is that the quality of care seniors are receiving in care homes is unacceptable," said Broten. "The health, quality of life and dignity of our parents, our grandmas and grandpas, is too important to allow the Sask. Party to dismiss the concerns we all have. Saskatchewan people deserve more choices, more spaces and a much higher quality of care."
The Sask. Party government doesn’t have a smart-growth plan to make pre-K-12 education sustainable as the province grows – and the consequences of that failure emerged during the spring session of the Legislature.
"The Sask. Party has underfunded schools and students," said David Forbes, NDP education critic. "There is no common sense in making cuts when there are more students in today’s schools."
At the end of the spring session of the Legislature, the Sask. Party is standing alone in its stubborn insistence that misleading the public by using two sets of books is acceptable.
During the session, NDP finance critic Trent Wotherspoon and Saskatchewan’s independent provincial auditor both called on the Sask. Party to come clean. On April 30, Provincial Auditor Bonnie Lysyk released a special report revealing the depths of the Sask. Party’s efforts to hide its handling of Saskatchewan’s money.
“My bottom line message to the government is: just tell it like it is,” said Lysyk.
A hallmark of the spring session of the provincial legislature, which wrapped up Thursday, was the NDP’s challenges to the Sask. Party to lay out its stand on critical social issues.
"Through the course of the spring we were surprised to discover that Sask. Party MLAs resisted common sense ideas like providing information on gay-straight alliances to students, teachers and parents who want it," said David Forbes, NDP critic for diversity, equality and human rights issues.
There are 3,700 fewer people working in Saskatchewan’s private sector compared to a year ago – a result of the fact that the Sask. Party doesn’t have a plan to fill employer needs with a smart post-secondary and skills training plan.
"Saskatchewan businesses keep delivering good news for Saskatchewan," said Trent Wotherspoon, NDP critic for the economy. "But, the Sask. Party is throwing a wrench in the plans of businesses by underfunding universities, SIAST and apprenticeship programs. The government doesn’t have a smart-growth plan to increase the number of skilled workers at the same rate as the province is growing."
In a three-hour face-to-face session this week, NDP Leader Cam Broten called on the premier to explain how the Sask. Party is struggling to deliver basics like education and housing when the economy in Saskatchewan is performing well.
"It’s a serious concern that the Sask. Party is struggling in such a strong economy," said Broten. "When it comes to important things like seniors care and education, the Sask. Party is making cuts and failing to help people who need it."
Cam Broten and the NDP MLAs ended this week in the Legislature by calling on the Sask. Party government to stop dismissing the concerns of real people.
"The Sask. Party is putting politics ahead of people," said Broten. "A flood of people have been willing to speak out – especially on the unacceptable state of seniors care in Saskatchewan – and the Sask. Party has stubbornly dug in their heels and refused to acknowledge the real concerns of people right in front of them."