Scott Moe has said that the 2020 Saskatchewan election is about trust. NDP leader Ryan Meili agrees. Standing in front of a decommissioned STC bus, a testament to the Sask. Party’s history of broken promises, Meili had harsh words for Moe and his party’s record of cuts and sell-offs.
“Scott Moe and the Sask. Party have a dismal record when it comes to cutting funding from our most crucial institutions and selling off services that the people of Saskatchewan rely on,” said Meili. “In 2016 the Sask. Party talked about investment, then as soon as they were elected they went and did the opposite. He simply can’t be trusted.”
Meili noted that the Sask. Party has already told the people of Saskatchewan to buckle up for austerity, and said that Scott Moe should just be honest with the people of Saskatchewan about how deep the cuts will get and how many jobs will be lost.
“We know what the Sask. Party playbook is, because we’ve seen it in action,” said Meili. “Cuts to healthcare, education and services for the province’s most vulnerable people. Their plan for more of the same is only going to make things worse. We need to invest in the people of Saskatchewan. Now more than ever, we need an NDP government that puts people first.
Backgrounder: Sask Party Cuts and Privatization
Sask. Party Cuts to Healthcare
- Budget 2016-17: The Sask. Party hiked fees by $5 per prescription on children’s and seniors' drug plans. The changes were set to impact 66,000 families by approximately $20 a year on average, and 120,000 seniors by approximately $80 annually on average.
- Budget 2016-17: The Sask. Party raised air ambulance fees from $350 to $385 per flight.
- Budget 2016-17: The Sask. Party cut $500,000 from recruitment and retention programs, including funding provided to the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition to support clinical placements within Saskatchewan; nursing initiatives; workplace supports; workforce supports; central recruitment agency; and the midwifery transition council.
- Budget 2016-17: The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region laid off 20 health workers. The jobs lost include four RNs, seven RPNs, three LPNs, and six SCAs.
- Budget 2016-17: The Saskatoon Health Region cut around 70 positions. A plan to save $34 million was announced with the goal of eliminating 260 positions.
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party cut the hearing aid plan. The cuts include audiology evaluations, hearing aid fittings, hearing aid sales, counselling and education The equivalent of 19 full-time jobs including audiologists were lost.
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party discontinued the funding for pastoral care and spiritual services delivered through health regions. Fourteen full-time jobs were affected.
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party cut $1.2 million provided for podiatry services. The provincial cuts were set to double or triple the cost of $40 per treatment and led to eleven lost jobs.
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party eliminated funding for the parent mentoring program. Eleven full-time jobs were lost.
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party discontinued the funding for travel vaccination clinics.
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party cut back subsidies on long-term care fees based on residents’ income. The maximum monthly fees increased from $2,065 to $2,689.
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party discontinued the $285,000 funding toward low-cost orthotic services.
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party discontinued the funding for 12 chiropractic treatments for low-income recipients.
Sask. Party Cuts to Education
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party cut $54 million from classrooms.
- Budget 2017-18: Funding cuts led to special-needs preschools being shuttered.
- The amount allocated for scholarships was cut in half between the 2016-17 budget and the 2020-21 budget.
- Budget 2017-18: Budget cut $25 million from Universities.
- Budget 2019-20: The Sask. Party cut the Sask. Advantage Scholarship to make it means tested.
- Budget 2018-19: The Sask. Party suspended the Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings.
Sask. Party Cuts for Vulnerable People:
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party cut funding for funerals for people on income assistance.
- Budget 2018-19: The Sask. Party cut the rental housing supplement.
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask.Party cut funding for special diets for people on SAID.
Sask. Party Selloffs & Privatization
- Post 2016 Election: Sask. Party introduced Bill 40, which let them sell off half of our Crowns, and they had dozens of meeting behind closed doors to try and sell off SaskTel and SGI
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party shut down and sold off the STC months after the minister said it was “safe.”
- Order in Council 2018: The Sask. Party sold off two gas plants that were owned by SaskEnergy.
- Post 2016 election: The Sask. Party sold 40 public liquor stores.
- Budget 2017-18: The Sask. Party sold off the Saskatchewan Grain Car Corporation.