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Broten blasts premier's two-tier health care proposal

Government’s plan to allow some to queue-jump will leave most waiting longer for surgery

The NDP is sharply criticizing the premier's proposal to fast-track MRIs for those who can afford to pay extra because it will leave everyone else waiting even longer for their surgeries.

The premier's proposal goes well beyond the private care providers currently operating within the publicly funded system. Premier Brad Wall said Thursday he wants a separate diagnostic stream for the wealthy, in which access to expensive MRIs is determined by people's ability to pay rather than by a doctor's assessment of medical need.

NDP questions why government is establishing a politics museum

The government is quietly developing a plan for a Saskatchewan Museum on Democracy – a plan the NDP said is another example of the government’s obsession with pet projects, and its failure to use taxpayer dollars in the smartest way.

The development of the politics museum is the most significant item in the job description of senior government official Rick Mantey, according to information the NDP obtained through access to information laws.

Time for government to release travel expenses, says NDP

The NDP is reminding the government that Saskatchewan people want to see all ministerial travel expenses, along with the expenses of entourages that travel with ministers, posted online starting this month.

The call for expenses to be posted online came after the NDP revealed then-minister of Social Services June Draude took a trip with a friend as well as a member of her family on the taxpayers’ tab. Draude and her companions visited another friend in Ghana, then travelled to London. Minimal government business was arranged to justify the trips, but Draude billed taxpayers for a chauffeured limo that was, in part, used for sightseeing in London, as well as a high-end luxury hotel for the three. Draude has repayed a small portion of the $19,000 cost for that trip.

NDP opposes government’s pricey scheme to contract out photo radar policing to Xerox

The government is planning to give Xerox $4.5 million over just two years to run eight photo radar traps in Saskatchewan – a scheme the NDP says is too expensive, and doesn’t make sense.

Under the government’s plan, employees of Xerox in Edmonton will review images from photo radar cameras in Saskatchewan, and Xerox employees will issue speeding tickets to Saskatchewan drivers on behalf of the police. For each of the eight cameras, Saskatchewan will give Xerox more than a half-million dollars.

Stats Can shows continued health care and social services job cuts

There are 4,300 fewer health care and social services workers employed in Saskatchewan compared to one year earlier, while health care facilities have been growing increasingly crowded, dirty and backlogged.

The continued cuts to jobs in the health care and social services sector, including another 500 jobs lost last month, were revealed Friday in the Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada. The update shows Saskatchewan’s natural resources and hard-working people are delivering very strong employment results, but the government is going in the wrong direction when it comes to health care.

Vicki Mowat selected as NDP candidate for Saskatoon Fairview

Vicki Mowat, a lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan and Canadian Forces Reserves Captain, will be the NDP’s candidate in Saskatoon Fairview in the next provincial election.

Mowat was acclaimed at a nomination meeting Wednesday night where NDP Leader Cam Broten welcomed her to the team.

“Vicki cares about building a Saskatchewan that gives everyone a chance to get ahead,” said Broten. “I’m looking forward to having an MLA in Saskatoon Fairview who is listening to families, and fighting for the things that really matter to them – including dealing with the cost of living pressures and long waits and run-down infrastructure in Saskatoon’s hospitals.

“Vicki’s a great candidate, and I know she’ll be an excellent MLA for the families of Saskatoon Fairview.”

NDP wants Dr. Cooke Extended Care Centre repaired, kept open

Health and seniors care in Lloydminster desperate for improvement, says NDP

The NDP is calling on the government to fix and keep open the Dr. Cooke Extended Health Centre in Lloydminster.

The government is planning to tear down a wing of the Dr. Cooke seniors care home, taking away 55 beds. This, despite the fact that the city is facing a shortage of seniors care options and spaces, causing ripple effects throughout the system including at the Lloydminster Hospital.

NDP wants health facility repair priority list made public

Insects infest Yorkton ORs, NDP demands to know when government will tackle hospital repairs

The NDP is calling on the government to release the capital plan for health care facilities with a timeline for when repairs will happen.

A year-old audit showed a staggering $2.2 billion in desperately needed repairs to Saskatchewan’s hospitals and health facilities. That figure includes $28.1 million in needed repairs in the Yorkton Region Health Centre, which has now cancelled 20 surgeries because of an insect infestation in its operating rooms.

“This government is allowing our hospitals and seniors care homes to get run down and filthy. In some cases, like Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital, they’re literally crumbling,” said Danielle Chartier, NDP health critic.

NDP demands action on climate change and environmental protection

The NDP used the Global Day of Action on Climate Change on Sunday to criticize what it calls the government's "miserable track record on climate change" and to demand real action.

"We believe we have an obligation to be responsible stewards of the environment and to do what we can to leave future generations a healthy and vibrant planet," said Cathy Sproule, NDP environment critic. "And, as a resource-producing and trade-dependent province, it's essential that we're smart and diligent about environmental regulation and environmental protection. That's why it's been so frustrating to watch this government slash our province's emission-reduction targets and cut climate change funding by 83 per cent since 2009, including another 35 per cent in this year's budget."