Saskatchewan NDP Caucus

NDP joins frontline group in calling for province-wide gang strategy focused on prevention and intervention

The Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the provincial government to address the rising issue of gang violence by working with community-based organizations on the front lines of this issue. Shane Partridge of STR8 UP, a Saskatoon-based non-profit organization that helps people leave gangs, has travelled to the Legislature today seeking a commitment from the government to implement a provincial gang strategy along the lines of the one STR8 UP outlined in their Provincial Gang Strategy Phase 2 Report, released this month.

“Saskatchewan has the highest number of youth gang members per capita in the country, alarming rates of violent crime in both rural and urban areas, and a provincial government that seems not to care about how much their inaction on rehabilitation, addictions, and supports for youth is fueling the crisis,” said NDP Justice Critic Nicole Sarauer.

NDP calls for plan to address rising number of Indigenous kids in care

FSIN Vice-Chief David Pratt joined the NDP in the Legislature today in calling on the Sask. Party government to prioritize dealing with the rising number of Indigenous kids in care.

“This government has said this issue is important, but the fact that the numbers continue to rise shows they actually need to do something about it,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “We need to see a comprehensive child welfare review, something promised in 2010 but still not delivered by this government.”

NDP calls on minister of rural and remote health to show he can do the job, or step aside

After Minister of Rural and Remote Health Greg Ottenbreit failed to clarify his recent remarks to an anti-abortion group, the Saskatchewan NDP called on the minister to demonstrate his ability to carry out the duties required of the role, or to step aside.

“We simply can’t have a minister working to undermine access to a constitutionally protected health service when it’s his job to ensure access to that service,” said NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “Women in rural and remote areas who lack access to reproductive health options need to hear directly from the Minister that he is working for them, not for lobby groups seeking to restrict access.”   

Cutting literacy programs for the most vulnerable is bad public policy, NDP says

Due to a 2019 budget cut that eliminated the Community Literacy Fund, 14 literacy programs across Saskatchewan will no longer be eligible for funding after this June. Responding to the cut, the Saskatchewan NDP called on the Sask. Party to revisit the decision and restore the $500,000 the province spends on supporting the literacy needs of vulnerable people.

“First they went for Cornwall Alternative School, which helped vulnerable students, but quickly walked backed that bad decision under pressure,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck. “Now we’re seeing that literacy programs that support Saskatchewan’s vulnerable kids are next on the chopping block. It’s more bad policy that will hurt Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable people for years to come, and they need to walk it back too.”

NDP calls for legislation to protect and support students seeking to join or form a GSA

The Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the government to introduce protections and supports for students seeking to join or form a GSA. The NDP were joined at the Legislature by Cat Haines, a program director with UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, who has supported many Saskatchewan kids through the challenges of trying to form a GSA.

“It’s vitally important that all students have access to supports and allies in their school,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “That’s why we need more than just a passive policy saying students have the right to start or join a GSA. What we’re hearing is that policy isn’t always followed, and that leaves students vulnerable.”

NDP calls on Water Security Agency Minister to follow court ruling

Today in Question Period, Cathy Sproule, NDP Critic for the Water Security Agency (WSA), pushed for a resolution to Peter and Barbara Onofreychuk’s eight-year fight to save their farm from being flooded by illegal drainage onto their land. In spite of a court order last June upholding the couple’s complaints and finding the WSA in breach of its duty, the WSA has yet to act. The couple now face expropriation of their land by local agencies seeking to flood their land.

“For nearly a decade, Peter and Barbara have been fighting tooth and nail for a resolution to this issue,” Sproule said of the Onofreychuks, who were at the Legislature for Question Period. “After the court ordered the WSA to act, the agency continue to stand by while allowing local entities to take the extraordinary measure of expropriating Peter and Barbara’s land, rather than fixing the drainage mess they’ve created.”