Throne Speech shows healthcare, cost of living aren’t Moe government’s priorities
REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck was joined at the Legislature by seniors and their families. They hammered the Sask. Party government for delivering a Housing Throne Speech after the government stood by while dozens of seniors got kicked out of their provincially-regulated homes this week, and for lacking new solutions to the healthcare crisis and the cost of living crisis.
“This is a Sask. Party government that can’t be trusted. Scott Moe ran on lower power bills, then increased them three times. I think governments should be measured on the results they deliver, not the promises they make,” said Beck. “If Scott Moe was more focused on fixing issues than scoring cheap headlines, maybe we’d be somewhere.”
“There’s an emergency in our emergency rooms and Moe still hasn’t come forward with any game-changing solutions for healthcare,” said Beck. “Moe says he’s concerned about housing, yet his government sat on its hands as dozens of seniors were thrown out of their homes this last week. The rising cost of living and healthcare crisis are clearly not priorities for this government.”
The families of seniors living at the provincially-regulated Parkview Villa and Princess Villa are scrambling to find new living arrangements for their parents and grandparents after the long-term care homes announced their impending closure yesterday. A third home, Precious Memories Villa, abruptly gave families 72 hours’ notice last Friday to move their loved ones.
The Sask. Party government’s inaction in response to Regina’s three latest care home closures mirrors their handling of Regina Lutheran Care home. The Sask. Party government has not stepped in to ensure residents are appropriately housed, despite the homes supposedly being monitored by the provincial Ministry of Health.
“We’ve seen this government act with lightning speed to fix much less important issues before. Good affordable housing and the health and wellbeing of our parents and grandparents should be a top priority,” said Matt Love, Opposition Critic for Seniors and for Rural and Remote Health. “Our parents and grandparents built this province, and the least the government can do is help them live their golden years to the fullest and ensure our hospitals work.”
Wait times for a bed at a long-term care centre in Regina average about 53 days, or two-and-a-half times the provincial average, and often keep seniors waiting in hospitals for extended periods of time for long-term care options.
CIHI reports that Saskatchewan has far and away the longest wait times for key surgeries. The median wait time for knee replacements in Saskatchewan last year was 466 days. The national average was 198 days, and the next-worst province, Manitoba, was 336. The median wait time for hip replacements was 309 days, longer than every other province and nearly double the national average of 164 days.
The Throne Speech also failed to show any plan to fix overcapacity pressures in urban emergency rooms and to stop rural emergency room closures, as has been seen in communities across rural Saskatchewan, most recently in Radville.