This morning Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili introduced a bill that would increase Saskatchewan’s minimum wage to $15/hour by 2022.
Addictions treatment under the Sask. Party government is failing families who are seeking help for their loved ones. That’s the message from Stacey Bereza, who joined the NDP at the Legislature today to call on the government to improve access to treatment for those battling addictions.
“There is an opioid and crystal meth crisis underway in Saskatchewan, and there simply aren’t enough spaces or supports for those seeking treatment for these addictions,” said Mental Health and Addictions Critic Danielle Chartier. “The provincial government can and must do more to address this crisis.”
The NDP has been digging into why public employees at eHealth were flown to luxury events on the dollar of the vendors they are awarding contracts to. Instead of providing transparency and taking responsibility, however, the Sask. Party has fought to keep a lid on the scandal.
“It’s clear that there are a number of issues at eHealth, but what’s most concerning is that the Sask. Party government would rather the Saskatchewan people not know about them or what’s been done to address them,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Instead of providing leadership and transparency, the Sask. Party has continued to work from its GTH-land-scandal playbook.”
Faced with a struggling economy, the Sask. Party government chose to raise taxes on the middle class and cut services instead of investing in the people of Saskatchewan, despite warnings that such moves would only deepen the downturn. New data from Statistics Canada bears out those warnings, with Saskatchewan posting the slowest GDP growth outside of Atlantic Canada in 2017 and half the growth rate of our neighbours to the west.
“Governments are rightly judged by the decisions they make when times are tough,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “And by that measure, this government has failed Saskatchewan people. They cut precisely the things that would restore us to strength — they hurt people in the process, and prolonged the pain of this economic downturn.”
Losing a loved one to an addiction while they are actively trying to get help is beyond difficult for any family, which is why Jenny Churchill joined the NDP at the Legislature to call for the necessary changes so that no other family would have to go through what hers has.
“The reality for far too many families throughout the province is that the needed care simply isn’t available when a loved one struggling with addiction is ready to reach out and begin their healing process,” said NDP Mental Health and Addictions Critic Danielle Chartier. “We need to do better to deal with the issue of addictions in Saskatchewan – and that starts with addressing the severe shortage of addictions services.”
Helen Campbell, a nurse and healthcare provider in the province, has seen firsthand the difficult choices that people have had to make when they can’t afford their medication on top of everyday bills and expenses. She joined NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat at the Legislature today to add her voice to the call for a fully funded national pharmacare program.
“Our health care system cannot function to its full potential without universal pharmacare,” said Mowat. “Being unable to afford needed medication shouldn’t be a barrier to people’s basic health, but that is the reality that so many in our province face today.”