NDP calls for strategy to deal with rising number of overdose deaths

With overdose deaths spiking in Saskatchewan under the Sask. Party’s failed approach, the NDP is calling for a strategy for community safety and dedicated action to address the increase of opioids and crystal meth addictions in Saskatchewan.  

“We’ve seen the devastating toll that addiction takes on communities and families, but without a clear and comprehensive strategy, this crisis will continue to rage,” said NDP Mental Health and Addictions Critic Danielle Chartier. “A strategy starts with providing improved access to naloxone kits, eliminating the wait times for detox and between detox and treatment, and introducing dedicated mental health and addictions emergency rooms, so patients with mental health and addictions issues receive timely care instead of getting triaged to the bottom and waiting longer for treatment. When someone struggling with addiction asks for help, that help needs to be there immediately, not several weeks later.”

Child psychiatrists and psychiatric beds “desperately needed”: NDP

The NDP is calling on the government to address the lack of child psychiatrists and psychiatric beds in Prince Albert, citing a significant negative impact on families in the north and the rest of the province.  

“The people of Prince Albert and the north have been let down by a government that hasn’t put the proper supports in place,” said NDP Mental Health and Addictions Critic Danielle Chartier. “The services provided by child psychiatrists are desperately needed, but the government’s response has been just more austerity, which means more cuts and claw backs for the services families rely on.”

Meili to Moe: Where’s the Plan for Federal Back-To-School Funding?

Today, on the day many schools were originally set re-open in Saskatchewan, NDP Leader Ryan Meili called on Scott Moe to provide Saskatchewan families, educators and school divisions with a clear plan for the $75 million in federal funding for schools re-opening.

“Last week, the federal government bailed out the Sask. Party’s failed back-to-school plan,” said Meili. “Premier Scott Moe and Education Minister Gord Wyant have let families down again and again with the worst plan in Canada. Now, with a week until the delayed return to school, we still have no idea how the government plans to spend the emergency money from Ottawa. Saskatchewan people deserve to know how the federal funding will be used to improve safety in our schools.”

NDP slams Sask. Party for failure to address lab tech shortage

NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat slammed the Sask. Party government’s failure to address long-standing staffing issues that could delay expanded COVID-19 testing as schools reopen. Mowat called on the government to ensure capacity is in place to meet an expected surge in demand, and to begin random testing in places vulnerable to outbreak, such as schools, long-term care homes and homeless shelters. 

“Fast access to COVID-19 testing is essential to safely sending kids and teachers back to school, but we’ve consistently been testing at below half of our advertised capacity” said Mowat. “Six months into the pandemic, the Sask. Party is still scrambling to address the shortage, even as they refuse to bargain fairly with existing lab techs, who have been without a contract for nearly three and a half years. We need a government that takes public health seriously and puts people first.”

Meili calls for action in defence of Saskatchewan steel jobs

NDP Leader Ryan Meili and NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon were joined by Mike Day, president of United Steelworkers Local 5890 to call for action in defence of jobs in Canadian steel, as the union raises concerns about up to 500 jobs in danger at the Evraz steel mill in Regina.

“Hardworking families are being left behind by the federal government, and Scott Moe is doing nothing to put Saskatchean workers first,” said Meili. “If I am elected Premier on October 26, I will push Justin Trudeau to deliver a fair deal for workers that ensures Canadian steel is used for major infrastructure projects in Canada, including the crucial pipelines that are necessary to get our oil and gas resources to market.”

“Grossly inadequate”: NDP slams first quarter financial report, commits to improving fiscal transparency in government

Today, NDP finance critic Trent Wotherspoon rejected the government’s first-quarter report as a “grossly inadequate” smokescreen and committed to new measures to improve financial transparency.

“This is the standard Sask. Party playbook: rosy numbers just before an election, and then deep cuts and Crown sell-offs after,” said Wotherspoon. “These numbers should have been presented as a part of the budget, and because they weren’t, we are not able to demand answers about the Sask. Party’s plans for austerity. They also haven’t been checked by the Auditor, who is responsible for externally reviewing these numbers. Especially with so many people out of work and looking for their government to invest in their wellbeing and create jobs, this update falls far short of what Saskatchewan people expect and deserve.”