NDP pushes government for greater democratic accountability

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.”

“As a result, Saskatchewan people are left with serious unanswered questions about how the government will handle the economic fallout of this pandemic. What’s the government’s recovery plan? What essential services will they try to cut?,” said Meili. “People are stepping up in so many ways to navigate a safe reopening of our province. They deserve real answers.”

When the Assembly adjourned on March 17, a motion was passed committing the government to 28 sitting days, which was what the NDP called for last week.

Meili rejected Moe’s characterization yesterday that this proposal represents the greatest amount of scrutiny for a budget in Canada during COVID and pushed for an explanation for the government’s move to limit the sitting to five Question Periods and eight sitting days in total. 

NDP House Leader Cathy Sproule delivered a letter to the government house leader this morning, proposing a revised schedule of 14 sitting days with 14 Question Periods, along with an adequate number of hours for debate on the budget. 

“While we were happy to see the government finally concede the need to safely reopen the Legislature and present a budget, we’re disappointed that they would try to cut corners and reduce public scrutiny of their decisions in this way,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Premier Moe has a duty to be accountable. We urge him to implement this reasonable proposal and get MLAs back to work.”