Q1: increasing debt hidden, health care ignored

The government’s first quarter financial update released Thursday shows it’s ignoring big problems in health and seniors care while hiding its increasing debt.

“By reading the government’s first quarter financial update, it’s clear this government is ignoring problems in health and seniors care,” said Trent Wotherspoon, NDP deputy leader and critic for finance.

“There’s not a dime redirected to actual health care from the massive allocation to its Lean experiment, and no adjustment in the first quarter to address the seniors care crisis. Is this government not listening at all? We know this government is still spending untold millions on American consultants and Japanese senseis for its Lean experiment – that money needs to be redirected into front-line care.”

Additionally, the budget cut about $50 million from health care.

Wotherspoon added that the financial update also contained an offside brag about the income from government hiking the power bills, with no accounting for the government’s wasteful plan to shell out tens of millions of people’s money, if not more, to cover its smart meter contracting out debacle.

“The $50 million of ratepayers’ money that’s going to cover this government’s failed contracting out scheme isn’t mentioned, or accounted for in this update,” said Wotherspoon, who noted the government is hiking power rates for families and businesses yet again.

The government has also taken the debt update out of the financial report altogether.

“The auditor said the government’s debt would hit $19.1 billion by March 31 – an alarming increase,” said Wotherspoon. “But, since the minister has torn that page out of this update, Saskatchewan families don’t know what that critical and costly debt number is today. What kind of financial update doesn’t include a debt update?”

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REGINA—The Saskatchewan New Democrats set the rules and timing for a leadership contest at Provincial Council on February 26th. The new leader will be elected at a leadership convention in Regina in late June, 2022.

All Saskatchewan New Democratic Party members in good standing will be eligible to vote online or by mail-in ballot.

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