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Government's short-sighted policies hurt Sask. businesses: NDP

Opposition joins companies in calling for overhaul of government procurement policies

The NDP wants the government to change its procurement policies so Saskatchewan businesses do not keep losing out while work is continually handed to companies from other provinces and countries.

The steel fabrication industry is one sector that has had enough of the government's policies undermining businesses in our province. For over 17 months, the industry has been pressuring the government behind the scenes for changes to its procurement policies, but the government has failed to act on their repeated calls.

"Local steel businesses tell me they're in lay-off mode because of a lack of work and a big part of the problem is that this government keeps giving contracts to companies from Ontario, Quebec, California and Texas. That's frustrating and it's not right," said Broten. "This should be a loud wake-up call for this government. We shouldn't have to wait until these businesses shut down or leave the province before we see some real action from this government that finally starts putting Saskatchewan's interests first."

Children’s advocate report shows Social Services in disarray

A special report released Tuesday by the Advocate for Children and Youth describes a Social Services Ministry that is understaffed and struggling to meet the basic needs of vulnerable children.

Throughout the report, Lost in the System: Jake’s Story, the advocate describes medical care referrals and developmental assessment requirements that were regularly not followed through on; Assessment and Care Plans that failed to be approved within timeline policies; and understaffed, overcrowded foster homes and emergency care centres that didn’t have time for proper follow-up on red flags.

NDP demands to know who is benefitting from government’s $3 million lobbyist payment

The NDP wants to know if the government’s massive $3 million tab for a lobbyist in the United States has actually benefitted Saskatchewan families, or mostly just the premier and some American politicians.

Despite the massive price tag, revealed by media Monday, the American lobbyist seemingly has done very little for Saskatchewan.

The 2013 disclosure report of the lobbying firm Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough shows it did no work for Saskatchewan or Premier Brad Wall in February, May, July, August, November or December. During the months it did some work for Saskatchewan, meeting with about 10 individuals were arranged for Premier Brad Wall in the United States.

Government pushing housing costs onto northern communities

The province has pushed the cost of funding northern affordable housing off itself and onto northern communities – a move the NDP says shows that this government doesn’t understand the desperate need for housing in the north.

The model marks a change from the past in which the provincial and federal governments funded the projects entirely. Now, the Village of Ile-a-la-Crosse is on the hook to cover more than 50 per cent of the price of an affordable housing development in that community, according to a recent government announcement. Similarly, big proportions and costs are being pushed onto the Villages of Buffalo Narrows and La Loche for housing developments in those communities.

Sask. posts priciest tuition increase in the nation: Stats Can

High prices aren’t good for the labour market, or families who are tired of paying more, says NDP

The price of a university education in Saskatchewan jumped more than anywhere else in Canada for this school year, and students in Saskatchewan’s universities now pay the second-highest tuition in the country.

According to numbers released by Statistics Canada Thursday, average undergraduate tuition has been hiked by 4 per cent in Saskatchewan compared to last year while graduate tuition fees rose by an average of 5.2 per cent for Saskatchewan students. Both these numbers outstrip every other province.

Re-open City Hospital: NDP

While Royal University Hospital is horrifically backed up, City Hospital sits half-empty

26 of 38 beds at Royal University Hospital’s emergency room were occupied Tuesday by admitted patients for whom there is no available hospital bed, the media confirmed Tuesday – causing the NDP to renew its call for the government to reopen City Hospital to acute care.

The government shut down acute care at Saskatoon’s City Hospital in 2008, and reduced its emergency room hours to daytime only.

Government more concerned about its friends than those who desperately need housing: NDP

Some Saskatchewan families need an affordable place to live – a reality this out-of-touch government doesn’t understand, according to comments it made following the revelation it’s choosing to walk away from a 48-unit affordable housing development.

Minister of Social Services Donna Harpauer dismissed the government's decision to ditch the affordable housing project by saying Tuesday, "you’re assuming that there’s these desperate homeless people."

Province-wide health care survey results very troubling: NDP

Province-wide survey results obtained by the NDP under the Freedom of Information law show doctors, nurses and health professionals are frustrated with the quality of health care in our province, years into the government's controversial Lean experiment in health care.

While a majority of health care employees indicate they are well aware of the Lean experiment, a full 71 per cent of employees and 64 per cent of doctors say the Lean project is not effective in "transforming the health care system to significantly improve the quality of care in the province." Well over half of employees say they completely reject the changes Lean has brought to their own departments.

Government’s failure to enforce contract means end of affordable housing project

The government has walked away from a new 48-unit affordable housing project in Regina, and is now allowing the private developer to rent out the units at full market price instead.

The government sold off 40 housing units in Regina that were previously set aside for low-income residents. Those units were supposed to be replaced by this project. But then the government decided to turn this project over to the private developer because of a four per cent cost overrun on its construction.

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