Saskatchewan NDP Caucus

Too many kids relying on food banks this Family Day

Last week, Food Banks Canada released their 2018 report, which found Saskatchewan has the highest proportion of children relying on food banks in the country. According to the report, 43.5 per cent of individuals served by food banks in Saskatchewan were children, higher than the Canadian average of 35.2 per cent. Although a recent change in how food bank usage is measured makes quantifying recent shifts in usage difficult, previous reports show that food bank use in Saskatchewan grew 76.9 per cent between 2008 and 2016. Last week, the Estevan Food Bank reported a 40 per cent increase in usage over a year ago.

“No child should be going to school or to bed hungry, but that’s the reality facing far too many Saskatchewan families,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “The poverty underlying food bank usage hurts children and costs our provincial economy billions each year in increased health, social services and justice costs.

Brandt build in Wascana should not go ahead, says NDP

The Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the Saskatchewan Government, through its now-majority vote on the Provincial Capital Commission, to reject the proposed Brandt build in Wascana Park in light of the failure to follow due process, the leaked expert objections, and, most recently, yesterday’s late-afternoon release of the wide-open list of permitted tenants for the proposed four-storey office building.

The list, which had previously been redacted from an NDP Freedom-of-Information request, goes against the principles that have governed Wascana Park for decades by opening the park to commercial office clients, and potentially to retail stores. In addition to the five permitted types of tenants allowed for under the Wascana Centre Authority Act plus the CNIB, the Brandt lease opens the door to “Tenants whose purpose is not inconsistent with the permitted tenants in paragraphs 1 to 6 above, including but not limited to general office tenants,” as well as “Tenants whose purpose is the provision of amenities and services.”

NDP calls for scrutiny of Sask. Party’s relationship with SNC-Lavalin

With SNC-Lavalin embroiled in numerous scandals, the NDP is calling into question the long-standing relationship that the Sask. Party has had with the troubled company and renewing its call for campaign finance reform in the province.

“When we look at the history between the Sask. Party and SNC-Lavalin over the past decade, with nearly $10,000 in publicly disclosed donations going one way and three quarters of a billion dollars ($765,846,640) in contracts going the other, it’s enough to give the people of the province pause, especially when our political donations and conflict of interest rules are so lax,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “We are calling for a moratorium on any further deals with SNC-Lavalin until a full review has taken place.”

Stop leaving money for bus routes on the table: NDP

The NDP is calling for the government to stop leaving money on the table that is needed to help those who have been left with no bus service after the Sask. Party sold off STC.

“The Sask. Party’s move to sell off STC in the first place hurt a lot of people,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “People with disabilities and those who needed to travel for medical appointments were among the many left stranded by the devastating cut. To flat-out reject funding options is an admission by the Sask. Party that they aren’t willing to fight for these people.”

Revenue sharing formula should include increase of one point of PST: NDP

The NDP is calling for a fairer revenue sharing deal for municipalities after years of enduring the government downloading additional costs onto their taxpayers.

“Municipalities have seen their fair share of program cuts and tax hikes from the Sask. Party, and it’s the people of the province that wind up paying more because of it,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Municipalities will be getting less money than they did in the years between 2013-14 and 2017-18. We believe this deal should have an increased amount going to municipalities to help make up for the cuts, but also to cover for population growth and inflation.”

Statement from NDP Leader Ryan Meili on government’s relationship with Huawei

On January 15, 2019, I called on Premier Moe to place an immediate moratorium on any further contracts between SaskTel and Huawei, and today, we are glad to see that he has taken our advice.

However, the potential threat to the security and privacy of Saskatchewan people and businesses remains of very real concern. Other countries such as the United States, Australia, and New Zealand have shown this by actively taking steps to prevent Huawei from being a part of building their 5G networks.