Throughout the Fall Legislative Session, Ryan Meili and the NDP stayed focused on the issues that matter to Saskatchewan people, particularly growing public frustration with the state of Saskatchewan classrooms and emergency rooms.
“Day after day, the Premier and the Sask. Party tried to change the channel to deflect from their failures on healthcare and education,” Meili said. “Our Opposition team kept the focus on the concerns that we’re hearing from across the province, while presenting ideas that invest in people and create a positive future for the province.”
Over the past weeks the NDP raised concerns around long wait times in emergency rooms, the prevalence of hallway medicine, and the brand-new Saskatchewan Hospital that already needs its roof replaced and where patients and staff still can’t drink the water. The NDP also shone a light on the culture of fear that has prevailed under the Sask. Party, revealing a hush memo that warned Saskatchewan healthcare workers not to speak out or keep detailed minutes.
On the education file, the NDP Opposition drew attention to the issue of overcrowded classrooms with too-few supports in schools across the province after the province’s failure to fund growing enrollment to the tune of $8 million.
The NDP also challenged recent Sask. Party decisions that are hurting the future of Saskatchewan workers, like the decision to kill the solar industry by ending the net metering program.
NDP MLAs put forward a number of ideas to better the future of the province, including pressing the federal government to rebate the cost of grain drying for farmers and restoring the AgriStability program to where it was before Harper’s cuts. The NDP also committed to ensuring that with an NDP government, no K-3 classroom would have more than 24 students. Critic for Northern Affairs Doyle Vermette introduced Bill No. 618 — The Saskatchewan Strategy for Suicide Prevention Act — to help prevent further tragedies that many communities are facing.
“There is no question that people in the province are facing a crisis in schools and in the healthcare system,” Meili said. “It’s time to put people first, give kids the best future, ensure our healthcare system is there when we need it, and build a healthy economy that works for people while keeps people working.”