REGINA - The Saskatchewan NDP is calling out the Sask. Party government failure to put Saskatchewan workers and companies first. Construction is set to begin on the Blue Hills wind power project north of Swift Current under a power purchase agreement with an out-of-province company bringing in out-of-province workers. NDP Leader Ryan Meili is calling for Saskatchewan companies and workers to be prioritized for the next round of SaskPower’s power purchase agreements which are set to be announced in the near future.
“These important infrastructure projects, especially in green energy, drive employment and trades experience that is crucial to our recovery and our long-term economic and energy future,” said Meili. “But that potential to drive new jobs that will build Saskatchewan expertise are lost when the Sask. Party refuses to ensure that Saskatchewan workers are hired to build these projects. The fact that out-of-province workers are building our projects is especially problematic during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Meili noted that under the Sask. Party, the ten biggest infrastructure projects in the last ten years have all gone to out-of-province and out-of-country companies. The Sask. Party’s management of energy infrastructure under SaskPower is a major contributor to this problem. Under a previous power purchase agreement with SaskPower, an out of province private company is currently building another wind project near Assiniboia. That company also brought in out-of-province workers during a pandemic, drawing criticism from the local community.
“With the challenges we are facing in Saskatchewan, we should be looking at every opportunity to create good jobs in sustainable industries right here, for Saskatchewan companies and Saskatchewan workers,” said Meili. “The Premier must ensure that Saskatchewan workers are building our infrastructure at this crucial time.”