Saskatchewan NDP Caucus

NDP introduces bill to implement suicide prevention strategy

Today, to address the Sask. Party government’s failure to properly plan and implement a suicide prevention strategy for Saskatchewan, the NDP introduced Bill No. 613 — The Saskatchewan Strategy for Suicide Prevention Act, 2018.

“In cities, towns, rural and remote areas, people are dying because they can’t get access to the care and supports they need,” said Northern Affairs Critic Doyle Vermette, who tabled the Bill Tuesday afternoon. “I have been to way too many funerals for people in my communities who felt they had nowhere to turn. Suicide is a serious problem in Saskatchewan, and something needs to be done.”

NDP calls for mandatory trucker training in Saskatchewan

Documents obtained by the CBC show that SGI was moving towards mandatory training for truck drivers as recently as this spring, but then reversed course, presumably under the direction of the Sask. Party government. In response to this report and to a recent accident that a driving instructor says mandatory training could have prevented, the Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the government to clarify its position on mandatory trucker training, and commit to implementing such training in the province.

“This is about safety on Saskatchewan highways,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Legitimate concerns have been raised about drivers getting their license without having undergone any training, and people are looking to this government to act.”

NDP introduce by-election bill to close elections law loophole

Unless the Sask. Party government moves to close a loophole their fixed-election-date law introduced, residents of the constituencies of Regina Walsh Acres and Saskatoon Eastview will go more than a year without an MLA before the next provincial election. To close this loophole, NDP Ethics and Democracy Critic David Forbes tabled a bill today that would require a by-election be called within six months of a seat becoming vacant when the period between general elections is more than 48 months.

“MLAs Warren Steinley and Corey Tochor have already been nominated candidates in the next federal race,” said Forbes. “They’re focusing on a job other than what the people of Saskatchewan elected them to do, and by law they’ll have to resign their seats when the writ drops next August. But because of a loophole in the Election Act, the Sask. Party won’t have to face a vote in those constituencies for a further fourteen months, leaving those people with no voice in the Legislature. That’s unfair.”

Sask. Party failing families as opioid crisis grinds on

The Sask. Party’s failure to create a system where families can get their loved one treatment for addictions is leaving more and more slipping through the cracks, as yet another family has come forward to share their struggles and stand with the NDP in calling for change.

“It’s heartbreaking what families go through when a loved one can’t get treatment for their addiction,” said NDP Mental Health and Addictions Critic Danielle Chartier. “Families are desperate to find help, but that help simply isn’t there.”

NDP call for transparency in Sask. Party’s library review

Saskatchewan libraries were only saved from deep cuts in the 2017 budget by widespread public outcry, with thousands of people rallying in support. The government walked back those cuts, announcing it would conduct a review of the library system to determine next steps.

Now, serious concerns are being raised about how little is being shared about that review process, and whether the focus of the review is positioning our libraries to meet the evolving needs of communities, or simply cutting costs. The NDP is calling on the government to release the submissions received as part of their review and be transparent with its plans around the library system, but has so far met with silence and obfuscation.