Premier Moe’s “Worst Plan in Canada” Making Class Sizes Larger During a Pandemic

NDP Education Critic Carla Beck called on the provincial government to act immediately to lower class sizes following the news that Regina Public Schools has been forced to take teachers out of the classroom to accommodate e-learning needs.

“Parents and educators have done everything in their power to make the return to school as safe and positive experience as possible, despite the chaos caused by the Sask. Party’s lack of planning,” said Beck. “Not only did the Premier Moe fail to make smaller class sizes a priority - Education Minister Gord Wyant is now making class sizes larger.”

NDP calls on government to act on surgical wait times

The NDP is calling on the Sask Party Government to take immediate and meaningful action to address the province’s severe surgical backlog. There are currently more than 28,000 people in Saskatchewan waiting for surgery and the wait list continues to grow. 

“Not only does it affect people’s health by being forced to wait exceedingly long times to get the procedures they need, it also costs the province more money,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Making people wait in pain and with uncertainty to get the surgery they need costs more, as delayed operations cause more severe and costly complications. We need a health system that puts people first.”

NDP urges government to prioritize substitute recruitment and retention for the sake of keeping schools safely open

NDP Education Critic Carla Beck, joined by substitute Educational Assistant Penny Van Buekenhout, is calling on the Saskatchewan government to act quickly to prioritize substitute recruitment and retention by providing funding for cohorting, contracts and sick pay. Education Minister Gord Wyant indicated last week that his government rejected division requests for funding for substitutes as not a priority, just like funding for supplies like “yoga mats and pencil cases.” 

“By sticking us with the worst school reopening plan in Canada, this government has left substitute teachers and substitute EAs vulnerable and exposed, with no guaranteed sick leave and no protection as they prepare to interact with potentially hundreds of kids in a week,” said Beck. “To hear the Minister say last week that funding for substitutes is as unimportant to him as yoga mats and pencil cases shows he’s learned absolutely nothing. The federal government has made funding available; now the province needs to put it to use ensuring we have enough substitute teachers in place at each school, and that those educators have access to sick leave.”

NDP pushes for transparency and accountability in the face of school-repair stonewalling

In response to the Minister of Education’s continued refusal to release a breakdown of the cost of fixing Saskatchewan’s crumbling schools, NDP Education Critic Carla Beck wrote to the Minister today with two demands of the Sask. Party government: to comply with the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s recommendation and release the basic information that had been requested, and to finally grant the Information and Privacy Commissioner the power to compel public bodies to release documents.

Statement from NDP Leader Ryan Meili on World Suicide Prevention Day

“As we mark World Suicide Prevention Day, I think of people like Samwel Uko, who died needlessly after being turned away from the ER.

“I think of Tristen Durocher and the Walking With Our Angels group – a group the Sask. Party preferred to take to court instead of engaging in conversations about the far too many First Nations children who have been lost to suicide.