The Saskatchewan NDP is pushing for a Sask-First procurement model to ensure that Saskatchewan workers and companies get the chance to build Saskatchewan infrastructure. The latest call comes in response to a letter by SaskPower’s President and CEO dated April 7, 2020, which stated that less than a quarter of the funding for the Chinook Power Station went to local companies, and that Saskatchewan workers make up less than half the workforce onsite.

“Major infrastructure projects like the Chinook Power Station drive employment and trades experience that is crucial to our recovery, but the Sask. Party’s unwillingness to hire locally means we’re using our money to stimulate Alberta’s or France’s economy, not Saskatchewan’s,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Saskatchewan workers and companies are struggling to make ends meet, while the Sask. Party keeps handing over hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to out-of-province companies.”

The Chinook Power Station cost Saskatchewan over $600 million, but in his letter, Marsh wrote, “total contract awards for the project to local companies was more than 140 million dollars” — less than a quarter of the total. He also wrote, “Saskatchewan skilled trade workers made up approximately 44% of the manpower onsite.”

“Once again, the Sask. Party has let Saskatchewan workers and Saskatchewan companies down,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “Our economic recovery hinges on real action on Sask First procurement. Working families don’t need more empty words from this government – they need action.”