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.
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.
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 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.
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.
August's labour statistics reveal concerning details about the government’s continued cuts to jobs in health care and social services.
On Friday, Statistics Canada released the results of its August Labour Force Survey, which showed there are 5,200 fewer jobs in the category of health care and social services, compared to one year earlier. Statistics Canada has now reported significant year-over-year losses in the health care and social services sector for the past three months.
With the premier and cabinet meeting today, the NDP is calling on them to pass a motion to refer the smart meter fiasco to the independent provincial auditor for a proper investigation.
According to The Provincial Auditor Act, the ways in which the auditor can take on a special assignment, such as a review of the smart meter debacle, are through direction from the Legislative Assembly or its Public Accounts Committee, which resumes sitting in October, or through direction from the premier and cabinet.
Parents and teachers are covering off more and more in the classroom, and the NDP says the extra costs have to stop.
“The start of the school year should be about excited kids getting new opportunities, but, increasingly, for parents and teachers it’s about opening their wallets to pay extra time and time again, replacing things the government no longer helps with,” said Trent Wotherspoon, NDP deputy leader and critic for education.
NDP wants to know if government is taking its foster system problems seriously
The government has failed to hand in its first report on the activities of the Social Services Ministry when it comes to caring for foster children.
The reports, due every three months, were called for by the Children’s Advocate after six-year-old foster child Lee Bonneau was murdered by another child, a 10-year-old also receiving services from the ministry. Bonneau was killed one year ago, and the Children’s Advocate released recommendations in response on May 14. One of those recommendations required reports from the ministry – the first due Aug. 14.