The NDP is renewing its call for the government to actively address serious concerns with its smart meter program after yet another house fire was sparked.
“Families have questions, and they deserve answers from the government,” said Cathy Sproule, NDP critic for SaskPower.
“The government has been far too quiet. But it was this government that chose to contract out smart meter installation to an American corporation and it signed an exemption to allow that company to use less-trained workers to install the meters. The government can’t be hands-off now that there are problems.”
Government’s Lean program is hurting care
The health system caused more critical incidents in Saskatchewan’s hospitals and health facilities last year than in any other year – another indication the government’s Lean overhaul of health care is making things worse instead of better, according to the NDP.
The Ministry of Health annual report shows 195 critical incidents for the 2013/14 fiscal year. That’s up from 161 a year earlier and 127 the year before that. Critical incidents are defined as the actual or potential loss of life, limb or function caused by the health system.
Vulnerable seniors with dementia are being moved out of the dementia unit at the Yorkton and District Nursing Home as spaces are being cut for budgetary reasons.
One full wing of the 48-bed dementia unit is closing. Some residents with dementia will be moved to beds in the care home that are not specialized for dementia care while others will be moved out of Yorkton to find a placement.
Non-qualified electrical workers allowed to install smart meters, thanks to exemption
The government is using workers who are not qualified electrical workers to replace SaskPower and SaskEnergy meters with smart meters. With six fires resulting from meter swaps in just two months, the NDP wants the government to reconsider that policy.
The laws in Saskatchewan require a worker be a journeyman electrician or supervised apprentice to work with the voltage contained in electrical meters, but the government gave the smart meter project an exemption to the law so less-trained workers could remove the existing meters and install the new smart meters.
The NDP is calling on the government to move free fishing weekend to a later date, when all Saskatchewan’s lakes are safe.
Tuesday, a public health advisory cautioned people to avoid several lakes in the southern part of the province because they are contaminated with E.Coli, caused by flooding. But, today the government announced that the upcoming weekend is free fishing weekend and called on Saskatchewan families to fish without a license, encouraging them to submit photos to the government for a tourism contest.
Families and workers have a right to know about problems, when they will be addressed
As hospitals and health facilities continue to deteriorate, the NDP says it is time for the government to stop sweeping the problems under the rug and start caring for the health infrastructure Saskatchewan people rely on. As another hospital deals with infrastructure failures – Saskatoon’s City Hospital, this time – the government is continuing to hide details about massive problems.
Saskatchewan’s hospitals and health facilities need over $2.2 billion in repairs, according to segments of a report released today – necessary repairs the government has been ignoring.
The report prepared by consulting firm VFA has been kept under wraps by the government, but segments of its findings were released Friday afternoon.
“The extent to which this government has let our hospitals and clinics crumble is shocking,” said NDP health critic Danielle Chartier. “With a strong economy and the needs so great, why is the government making cuts in health care instead of doing more to repair and save what we have?”
As we mark 147 years as a nation, our minds and hearts in Saskatchewan are with those coping with still-rising water, and the damage, heartache and stress caused by flooding.
Residents, neighbours and volunteers are working to keep each other safe and protect communities, showing, once again, that Saskatchewan is at its best when facing the worst.
81 per cent of doctors say they don’t have resources to be effective
A new survey shows doctors, nurses and health professionals are not happy with the way things are going, years into the government’s controversial Lean experiment to overhaul health care.
Only 19 per cent of doctors feel they now have the tools and resources to be effective and productive. That’s according to a memo from Saskatoon Health Region’s leadership, which outlines the region’s preliminary results from a province-wide survey.