New Democrats want to invest in Saskatchewan instead
In a new commercial, Saskatchewan's New Democrats are shining a light on the Sask. Party's practice of sending contracts, jobs and billions of dollars out of the province.
The ad, which launched on television and online Monday, argues that we should be investing in Saskatchewan people, local businesses and communities instead.
“We know Saskatchewan people and businesses can offer incredible value,” said the New Democrat's campaign manager Frank Quennell. “Our companies, province and people are renowned for high-quality work and a work ethic that's second to none, along with compassion and skill. Yet the Sask. Party record shows an astounding preference for sending contracts and jobs to other countries. That's reckless and undermines Saskatchewan's future.”
Quennell says just some of the baffling examples include:
The John Black Lean project, a damaging attempt to overhaul Saskatchewan Medicare based on the views of a $40-million consultant from the United States.
- Paying $3,500 per day for consultant ‘senseis’ – former Toyota workers – from Japan, part of the toxic Lean program.
The failed smart-meter program, which was contracted to a corporation from the United States. SaskPower and SaskEnergy are still under contract with that company.
- The P3 rent-to-own Regina bypass, which contracts out highway building and a 30-year snow-plowing contract to a corporation from France. The Sask. Party is also using P3 deals with foreign corporations and financiers for a P3 rent-a-school scheme, instead of hiring local architects, contractors and project managers, and a P3 hospital plan to hire a United Kingdom corporation to build and maintain a replacement mental health facility.
The Sask. Party says it chose foreign P3 contracts instead of Saskatchewan building and maintaining its own schools, a hospital and a highway because of the ‘risk’ of having Saskatchewan businesses build Saskatchewan.
“The Sask. Party didn’t create the resource boom, and they didn’t cause the price of oil to fall,” said Quennell. “But what has been in their control is whether they put Saskatchewan jobs, Saskatchewan businesses, and value for Saskatchewan taxpayers first.
“With a rash of contracting out to foreign corporations, it’s clear putting Saskatchewan first is not their priority anymore. We can't afford four more years of this.”
New Democrat MLAs have twice introduced a law that would create a more sophisticated procurement process, giving Saskatchewan companies more of the work available through government and Crown contracts. The Sask. Party has refused to support that bill.
Two versions of the new ad can be viewed at saskatchewanpriorities.ca.