Today NDP Leader Ryan Meili was in Moose Jaw to raise concerns about the Sask. Party’s flawed procurement process, which risks leaving Saskatchewan workers out in the cold once again when it comes to large projects such as the SaskPower natural gas plant in Moose Jaw. SaskPower announced last week that two US-based companies have been selected to compete for the bid.
“Whether it’s the Regina Bypass or Chinook Power Station, the Sask. Party’s track record has been to favour large, out-of-province companies at the expense of Saskatchewan workers,” Meili said. “By not putting Saskatchewan workers first, the Sask. Party is failing to build and maintain a healthy economy in the province.”
Burns and McDonnell, which has its headquarters located in Kansas City, MO, and the Kiewit Corporation, which is based out of Omaha, NE, were the two companies shortlisted to construct the Moose Jaw power station.
Meili said the construction industry is struggling as a result of the Sask. Party’s failure to put Saskatchewan workers first, with the value of building permits dropping 57 per cent year over year, the greatest drop among all the provinces. The latest jobs numbers from Statistics Canada show that there were 6,300 fewer construction jobs in January compared to last year, and a drop of 6,800 construction jobs compared to 2018.
“When we’re building our schools and hospitals, highways and power stations, with our money, it should be our workers and our companies on the jobsite,” Meili said. “There are plenty of Saskatchewan people who are out of work who didn't even get a chance to work on the Chinook Power Station. We can't afford to repeat that mistake — that's why we need a procurement policy that works for Saskatchewan people, and keeps Saskatchewan people working.”