Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili welcomed the new cabinet announced today by Premier Scott Moe and signalled that the NDP Team is ready to hold the government to account.
NDP Leader calls for increased testing and processing capacity; reduced class sizes
SASKATOON - The alarming increase in Covid-19 cases in Saskatchewan in the past week is a serious cause for concern for the province. The NDP is calling for immediate action to increase testing capacity and reduce class sizes to slow the spread of the pandemic.
REGINA - Leader of the Official Opposition Ryan Meili announced the Saskatchewan NDP shadow cabinet today, as well as staffing changes going forward within the Saskatchewan NDP caucus office.
“Our team of Saskatchewan New Democrat MLAs is full of new faces and new energy to hold the Sask. Party government to account and put people first,” Meili said.
NDP Education Critic Carla Beck called on the provincial government to act immediately to lower class sizes following the news that Regina Public Schools has been forced to take teachers out of the classroom to accommodate e-learning needs.
“Parents and educators have done everything in their power to make the return to school as safe and positive experience as possible, despite the chaos caused by the Sask. Party’s lack of planning,” said Beck. “Not only did the Premier Moe fail to make smaller class sizes a priority - Education Minister Gord Wyant is now making class sizes larger.”
The NDP is calling on the Sask Party Government to take immediate and meaningful action to address the province’s severe surgical backlog. There are currently more than 28,000 people in Saskatchewan waiting for surgery and the wait list continues to grow.
“Not only does it affect people’s health by being forced to wait exceedingly long times to get the procedures they need, it also costs the province more money,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Making people wait in pain and with uncertainty to get the surgery they need costs more, as delayed operations cause more severe and costly complications. We need a health system that puts people first.”
NDP Education Critic Carla Beck, joined by substitute Educational Assistant Penny Van Buekenhout, is calling on the Saskatchewan government to act quickly to prioritize substitute recruitment and retention by providing funding for cohorting, contracts and sick pay. Education Minister Gord Wyant indicated last week that his government rejected division requests for funding for substitutes as not a priority, just like funding for supplies like “yoga mats and pencil cases.”
“By sticking us with the worst school reopening plan in Canada, this government has left substitute teachers and substitute EAs vulnerable and exposed, with no guaranteed sick leave and no protection as they prepare to interact with potentially hundreds of kids in a week,” said Beck. “To hear the Minister say last week that funding for substitutes is as unimportant to him as yoga mats and pencil cases shows he’s learned absolutely nothing. The federal government has made funding available; now the province needs to put it to use ensuring we have enough substitute teachers in place at each school, and that those educators have access to sick leave.”