NDP Leader Ryan Meili updated the public about negotiations to recall the Legislature today, responding to the Sask. Party government’s proposed terms for a limited reopening of the Legislature by calling for more sitting days and greater democratic scrutiny than the limited scope the government had proposed.
“The Sask Party is writing themselves blank cheques behind closed doors,” said Meili. “Their attempts to hide from scrutiny reveal a government that is arrogant and secretive. Scott Moe was only willing to discuss opening the legislature after repeated pressure from the opposition, the media and the public. Now he’s put forward an extremely limited proposal that gives the illusion of scrutiny but not enough time to do the work.”
NDP Leader Ryan Meili and members of his opposition caucus gathered in front of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building today to call on the Premier to put forward a plan for the safe restoration of democratic oversight ahead of the next election.
“Before COVID-19 hit, key public services were stretched too thin, with not enough staff in emergency rooms, long-term care and overcrowded classrooms,” said Meili. “Too many people in Saskatchewan were already struggling to make ends meet. Many more are struggling now. This crisis has deepened those struggles and made action more urgent. We need a real plan from this government, not a warmed-over budget that predates the crisis. We need a plan that responds to the deep economic challenges ahead, not the Sask. Party’s usual crisis playbook of deep cuts and privatization.”
Today, NDP Leader Ryan Meili repeated his call for the Premier to recall the Legislature and impose binding arbitration to end the lock-out at the Co-op Refinery in Regina.
“This lockout has gone on far too long. The Premier needs to show leadership and bring it to an end,” said Meili. “When the Sask. Party appointed special mediator Vince Ready months ago, they seemed confident that he would come to a resolution. Instead, the impasse drags on because the Premier won’t act, which is bad for the province, bad for workers and bad for our economy.”
Today, Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili released a public letter from NDP House Leader Cathy Sproule and called on the government to respond to repeated requests from the opposition for a full budget and the reconvening of the Legislature.
“The Sask. Party and Scott Moe have been writing themselves blank cheques behind closed doors,” said Meili. “Meanwhile, they’re closing hospitals in rural Saskatchewan, even as they start opening up other parts of the province. They’re promising billions of dollars in spending, without telling us how they’ll make sure it goes to Saskatchewan workers and companies.
As Canada recognizes National Nursing Week and as healthcare workers continue to raise concerns about an insufficient supply of protective equipment, NDP Leader Ryan Meili called for the province to provide a plan to ensure that every worker has the protective equipment they need.
“We hear from so many frontline workers that they are still lacking the equipment they need to keep themselves safe at work,” said Meili. “Particularly in our long-term care centres, too many people don’t have what they need. Over and over again, we’ve been told that there is no shortage of equipment, so why are frontline workers still saying they don’t have what they need?”
With people only able to purchase a month’s worth of prescription medication at a time due to COVID-19, the NDP is calling for the government to provide relief to seniors and low-income people by ensuring government drug plans will cover the additional cost.
“The pandemic is revealing the challenges too many face when filling needed prescriptions,” said NDP Health critic Vicki Mowat. “People in this province shouldn’t be making decisions about whether they can afford to take their medication because of extra dispensing fees. It’s time the government puts people first and makes sure that those who can least afford additional costs are taken care of.”