Second lowest job growth shows Sask Party’s COVID response is letting people down

Job numbers released by Statistics Canada today show that Saskatchewan’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is amongst the weakest in Canada. The province’s monthly increase of just 600 jobs or 0.1% (seasonally adjusted) is the second worst in Canada.

“New Democrats have urged Premier Moe and this Sask. Party government to protect jobs and small businesses, but clearly not enough has been done,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “We know that Saskatchewan's economy was already shrinking before COVID – and now the Premier’s lack of action to put Saskatchewan workers and businesses first is making things worse.”

Stark kids-in-care numbers show Sask. Party’s failure to act on poverty, addiction, First Nations marginalization

Decrying Saskatchewan’s high and rising number of kids in care and the fact that a growing majority of those kids are Indigenous, NDP Leader Ryan Meili joined with Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Vice-Chief David Pratt to challenge the Sask. Party’s failure to act on poverty, addiction and First Nations marginalization, and call on the Premier to introduce a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy and increased funding for mental health and addictions to address the root causes of the surge.

#LetTheKidsPlay: NDP calls for plan and programming to support kids and parents

Raising concern that kids and their caregivers have so far been neglected in the Sask. Party’s Reopen Saskatchewan plans, the Saskatchewan NDP joined concerned Regina parents in calling for a comprehensive plan for safely relaxing restrictions keeping Saskatchewan kids at home.

“The past few months have been hard on kids and hard on parents, and they both deserve a government that’s looking out for their best interests,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “As we gradually relax the restrictions that helped us flatten the curve, kids should be front and centre in our thoughts, with a dedicated plan to guide the safe relaxation of restrictions. Almost every other province has thought about this — why not Saskatchewan?” 

“Crowded classes are a public health concern”: NDP says more teachers and EAs are crucial to reopening plan

The Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the province to introduce a plan for the safe reopening of schools this fall, including hiring additional teachers and EAs to ensure that no Saskatchewan family has to see their kids return to unsafe, overcrowded classrooms this fall.

“Crowded classes were a major issue before. As we prepare to reopen, that crowding is not just a challenge for ensuring quality education, but also a huge public health concern,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck. “We’ve got classrooms of 40 to 50 kids in some cases, and we don’t even know if gatherings of that size will even be allowed by September. 

Long-term Care facilities “critical” and crumbling, $3.5 billion in repairs needed: NDP

The Saskatchewan NDP is calling for infrastructure investments into Saskatchewan Long-term Care homes and a concrete plan to address healthcare infrastructure after written questions submitted by the NDP revealed the value of needed repairs in Saskatchewan’s Health facilities has risen to $3.5 billion.

“Facilities across the province are crumbling and understaffed, and residents aren’t getting the care they need — that’s what we heard loud and clear from last week’s CEO report,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “With these deferred maintenance numbers today, we can see just how bad the problem has gotten, with $3.5 billion in repairs needed to restore these facilities to the kind of condition you’d feel comfortable letting a loved one stay in.”

“Don’t let good businesses fail because of bad policy”: NDP calls for expanded supports and better communication for Saskatchewan small businesses

Today, with another month of business lease payments coming due, NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon called on the provincial government to act quickly to ease restrictions on the province’s Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency payment program that leave many struggling businesses unable to access needed support. Specifically, Wotherspoon questioned the government’s refusal to support businesses that are allowed to reopen but are still facing a massive drop in revenues, on top of their earlier refusal to support businesses that hadn’t been forced to close in March but had seen a major loss in revenue.

“Too many good businesses that need support are being let down by this government’s narrow criteria,” said Wotherspoon. “This crisis has hit businesses hard, and whether you’re an electrician who saw your work dry up or a retail owner who’s opening now but seeing almost no one come through the door, you deserve support right now. That’s our message to the government: base the support on need, and don’t let good businesses fail because of bad policy.”