Throughout the fall session, the Saskatchewan NDP took the Sask. Party to task for the consequences of their mismanagement, scandal, and waste. In and out of the legislature, members of the NDP caucus called the Sask. Party out for everything from the GTH land scandal to hidden billion dollar deficits, job losses, and cuts to everything from healthcare to education.
“Day-in and day-out, we have seen further evidence of the government making Saskatchewan people pay for their mismanagement, scandal, and waste through deep cuts to everything from supports for the most vulnerable, to our hospitals and classrooms,” said NDP Leader Trent Wotherspoon. “Instead of the transparency and accountability they once campaigned on, all the Sask. Party has been doing is hiding the truth and offering nothing but cuts, cover-ups, and growing scandals, deficits and debt.”
Wotherspoon noted that the fall session was marked by nearly daily announcements of job losses and Sask. Party cuts. Despite Saskatchewan losing nearly 11,000 jobs over the last year, the Sask. Party is cutting important job training programs like Gradworks, NORPAC and NORTEP.
After hiding the budget and refusing to release a first quarter update, the Sask. Party finally revealed that the numbers they had claimed in their spring budget were way off. They are running yet another billion-dollar deficit this year and, in just two years, they have managed to add $3.5 billion to the province’s debt.
“During nearly a decade of record revenues, this government blew through a billion of surplus, and the Rainy Day Fund and they have had no plan to create jobs or grow and diversify Saskatchewan’s economy,” Wotherspoon said. “All of their mismanagement, scandal, and waste has a real cost. By doing nothing to create and maintain jobs, by cutting programs and services, and by putting Saskatchewan’s Crown’s on the chopping block, the Sask. Party is making Saskatchewan people pay the price now, and leaving future generations with a growing debt.”
The Sask. Party’s GTH scandal was also a daily feature of Question Period, as Wotherspoon called on the government to answer for their Sask. Party scandal that cost taxpayers $25 million and saw two well-connected Sask. Party supporters make $11 million.
“Every day in Question Period, I called on the Premier to come clean on this scandal and to answer some very basic questions about what happened and how this scandal came about but, despite the daily questioning, the Sask. Party refused to provide any answers or clarity,” said Wotherspoon. “Instead, at every turn, the Sask. Party hid the facts, refused transparency, and tried to avoid any sense of accountability. The people of Saskatchewan deserve nothing less than honesty and accountability. It’s their money that is being wasted and their programs that are getting cut.”
Wotherspoon noted that, while the session was about holding the feet of government to the fire, it was also about bringing ideas to the table. After introducing a Private Members Bill, the NDP was able to get legislation passed to ensure that all workers are covered for post-traumatic stress disorder and, earlier this week, Wotherspoon tabled a bill to get big money out of Saskatchewan politics. That bill will be debated during the next session.