Sask. Party spikes suicide prevention strategy bill, NDP vows to continue to push for action

Today the Sask. Party government voted down Bill No. 618 — The Saskatchewan Strategy for Suicide Prevention Act, which had been introduced by NDP Critic for Northern Affairs Doyle Vermette in November. 

“I’m at a loss,” said Vermette. “So many lives in our province, particularly in the North, have been devastated by the death of a loved one because of suicide. Many of those people joined us here in the Legislature to call on the government to act. How am I to explain to those families this government’s unwillingness to do what is so badly needed right now?”

NDP calls for inquest into Samwel Uko’s death, cites new figures showing 13 hour wait times

With government figures showing average wait times last year of approximately 13 hours to get an inpatient bed at the Regina General Hospital and the Dubé Centre in Saskatoon, the Saskatchewan NDP is calling for an inquest into the death of Samwel Uko, who twice sought help in a Regina Emergency Room the day he died. 

“The system failed Samwel Uko,” said Meili. “Sadly, he wasn’t the first person who sought help in a mental health emergency and didn’t find it. But we can and must make sure he’s the last, which is why we’re calling on the Province to call an inquest today.”

NDP introduce bill to provide WCB coverage to support frontline workers

Today NDP Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Critic David Forbes introduced Bill 621, an Act to amend The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 to provide presumptive Workers’ Compensation Board coverage for workers exposed to COVID-19 on the job.

“We’ve seen this pandemic take a heavy toll on working people throughout the province,” Forbes said. “People are struggling, living paycheque to paycheque, and are unsure how they will make ends meet. They deserve to have assurances that they’ll have presumptive coverage if they happen to fall ill. Other provinces are working on this, and we should as well.”

NDP questions former premier’s role in securing deal for for-profit meth treatment facility

The Saskatchewan NDP is questioning the involvement of Grant Devine and other Sask. Party insiders in securing an agreement for specialized crystal methamphetamine inpatient treatment services at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Estevan.

“Just six months ago, Grant Devine emailed a proposal for for-profit addictions treatment services to, among others, Brad Wall’s former Chief of Staff,” said Meili. “He goes on to say that he hopes to meet with Premier Moe in the new year on the project. Six months later, after years of calls for more addictions beds, the facility has a $1.4 million line in the budget.”

NDP Slams Cut-and-Paste Budget as Prelude to Cuts Budget

In Question Period today, the Saskatchewan NDP slammed the Sask. Party budget as a cut-and-paste job written before the pandemic that wasn’t updated to address the needs of Saskatchewan people today. NDP Leader Ryan Meili said the budget has nothing to offer seniors, and no new money for education or healthcare delivery, beyond what was planned for in February.

“Saskatchewan people are looking for a recovery plan. The Sask. Party had three months to come up with one, but they chose to come back with a cut-and-paste rehash of the budget they tried to present in March,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “It’s shocking, frankly, that their budget has nothing to offer those who care for our kids and our seniors, when those people have been the most impacted by the pandemic.”

Saskatchewan needs a recovery plan, Sask. Party budget shows they have none: NDP

In response to the Sask. Party’s introduction of a placeholder pre-election budget that presents no recovery plan for the people of Saskatchewan, NDP Leader Ryan Meili called on the Premier to present a real recovery plan that puts people first.

“This is not a plan,” said Meili. “This budget shows that Premier Moe has no idea how to bring about a recovery that works for people. There’s nothing here for seniors, nothing for childcare, no money for safely reopening and resourcing schools for a pandemic, falling per-student funding for students, and no commitment to hiring Saskatchewan workers and Saskatchewan companies to build our infrastructure.”