Multi-billion-dollar spending order needs scrutiny: NDP

Today, in response to the provincial government’s decision to authorize $4,568,663,000 of public spending through a special warrant, NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon called on the provincial government to recall the legislature and present a budget to fully respond to COVID-19.

“This is a massive amount of money, but the government’s special warrant provides no clarity at all when it comes to how this money is to be spent,” said Wotherspoon. “How much of this is for new COVID-19 spending? Where is it going? People deserve answers to these questions, and those answers should be provided in the Legislative Assembly.”

Meili calls for pandemic pay top-up and WCB coverage to support frontline workers

As Saskatchewan prepares to mark the National Day of Mourning to remember workers injured or killed on the job, NDP Leader Ryan Meili is calling for more support for frontline workers facing significant risk during this pandemic. Specifically, Meili is asking the province to introduce a pandemic pay top-up to give low-income essential workers a much-deserved raise, and to provide presumptive Workers’ Compensation Board coverage for workers who fall ill with COVID-19.

“We see the hearts in windows thanking frontline workers for stepping up, now we need the government to step up for those workers,” said Meili. “With the lowest minimum wage in the country, many Saskatchewan workers are earning less than they could receive with federal benefits. That isn’t right and it isn’t fair. Long-term care aides, hospital cleaning staff, delivery drivers – they’re all putting in long hours in stressful circumstances, and they all deserve fair compensation for the extra work and risk they’re taking on.”

In response to northern travel ban, NDP repeats call for immediate support for northern municipalities

In response to the Premier’s announcement banning non-critical travel to northern Saskatchewan because of a local outbreak of COVID-19, NDP Leader Ryan Meili said it’s now urgent for the Premier to work more closely with northern leaders to ensure clear protocols and protections for stopping the spread of COVID-19, and step up and provide direct financial assistance for northern communities, as the Opposition has been calling for.

NDP Leader releases list of questions for Moe, calls for democratic oversight to resume

NDP Leader Ryan Meili raised serious questions today about the Sask. Party’s plan to open the economy, and called on the government to restore democratic oversight by reconvening the Legislature in some form, to ensure the best possible management of the pandemic.

“It is one thing to release a plan on opening businesses, but the people who operate and work at those businesses need a plan that works for them,” said Meili. “Those workers are also parents, but the government’s plan says nothing about how we’ll manage child care through a reopening. The government’s failure to announce a plan to support parents and small businesses as workplaces begin to open again is exactly why we need time and space to ask the government these questions.”

NDP and mayors call for immediate $10 million support for Northern municipalities responding to COVID-19

Today, Ryan Meili, Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic for First Nations and Métis Relations, called on the provincial government to provide $10 million in direct financial assistance to Northern municipalities as they struggle to address COVID-19.

“Northern leaders are stepping up in a tremendous way to help lead their communities through this challenging time,” said Meili. “The provincial government needs to do its part to help, and that means stepping up with substantial support to ensure Northern communities have the resources they need to respond to COVID-19 and save lives.”