Saskatchewan NDP Caucus

Number of people with disabilities working in government steadily decreasing

The Sask. Party’s claim that this province is the best place to work and live if you have a disability doesn’t hold water when you consider the facts. The Sask. Party’s own statistics show that since 2013-14, there are 92 fewer people with disabilities working across government – a reduction of 27 per cent.

“This reduction in opportunities for people with disabilities is just not acceptable,” said NDP Diversity, Equality and Human Rights Critic David Forbes. “It is disappointing that the Sask. Party suggests they are making Saskatchewan a better place for people with disabilities but the reality is that fewer and fewer people with disabilities are working for the government every year.”

Saskatchewan’s low GDP growth highlights Sask. Party’s economic failings

Statistics Canada released a report showing Saskatchewan had the second lowest GDP growth outside of Atlantic Canada for 2017. Saskatchewan lagged behind with only a 2.9 per cent growth, while B.C. grew by 3.9 per cent and Alberta’s economy grew by 4.9 per cent.

“These numbers show exactly why people are leaving Saskatchewan to find better opportunities in other provinces,” said Finance Critic Cathy Sproule. “With PST being applied to more products such as used cars, children’s clothing and restaurant meals, the Sask. Party is making it unaffordable to live here. Combine that with minimal job growth and a minimum wage that barely covers the basics, it all leads to a suffering economy that’s been stifled by the Sask. Party.”

Sask. Party’s lack of infrastructure funding leaves school divisions in the dark and students in crumbling classrooms

In addition to the $24 million cut to education funding, the Sask. Party failed to allocate funding for any new replacement schools in this year’s budget and have reduced transparency for Preventative Maintenance and Renewal (PMR) funding.

“Children shouldn’t have to learn in schools that are crumbling, leaking or heaving,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck. “School boards need to know if they should put a new roof on their aging schools, or if they’ll have the support they need to rebuild. There’s no predictability for boards and there’s no plan to replace the aging schools all over Saskatchewan.”

NDP stands with victims of domestic violence

Several Saskatchewan NDP members took part in this year’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign to show support for the too many victims and survivors of domestic violence in Saskatchewan, and to continue the push for more action to help those who have been affected.

“While I was proud to join with some of the male members of our caucus and step into ‘her shoes,’ it was very much a solemn reminder of how far behind the province is in providing the proper supports for the many women who have fallen victim to domestic violence,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “When Saskatchewan has the dubious distinction of having some of the worst rates of domestic violence, we all know we have to do more than walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.”

Children’s Advocate report highlights Sask. Party failings

The Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth’s annual report shows that the Sask. Party is continuing to fail on many fronts when it comes to providing the best for Saskatchewan children.

“The Sask. Party has said they support closing the education funding gap for on-reserve students, but once again those are empty words that show no real action,” said NDP Social Services Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “Aside from our calls to action, the Children’s Advocate called on the Sask. Party to work with the First Nations on improved funding from the federal government, and it’s long past time for the Sask. Party to put aside their bluster and get to work on ensuring fairness for on-reserve students.”

Sask. Party’s hike on PST still slowing investment in construction

New figures from Statistics Canada show that the Sask. Party’s hike on PST is still hurting investment in the Saskatchewan construction industry, while other provinces are showing increases.

“The construction industry is vital to Saskatchewan’s economy, but what we are seeing is the Sask. Party’s PST hike having a negative effect on the industry and is putting many jobs at risk,” said NDP Finance Critic Cathy Sproule.