On the steps of the Saskatchewan Legislature, NDP Leader Ryan Meili and NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon released A People-First Recovery, a post-COVID-19 recovery plan that focuses on building a healthy society, powered by a strong and diversified economy.
“We’ve been through a lot in the last few months. We’ve shown what Saskatchewan people are made of when we fight the COVID crisis together,” Meili said. “Now it’s time for the government to step up with a full recovery plan. The focus has to be on investing in people, because the Sask. Party’s tired old playbook of cuts will only hurt people and slow our recovery.”
The plan outlines three areas of focus for creating a brighter future for the province: People First, investments in people that will strengthen the economy; Grow Local, ensuring that Saskatchewan companies and workers lead the recovery; and Future Focus, harnessing the innovation that will power a strong and diversified economy for future generations.
“Before the pandemic, people were already hurting and the economy was already in recession because of the Sask. Party’s harmful cuts and failures to invest wisely,” Meili said. “Parents, teachers and childcare providers were struggling to care for kids without support or the guidance they need from the province, and our healthcare system was struggling to keep up after years of underfunding. The pandemic has exposed those gaps, and now is the time to address them.”
The NDP recovery plan would see the government address the overcrowding in our classrooms, invest in mental health treatment, end hallway medicine, support seniors with the best home care in Canada, and fix our crumbling infrastructure.
“The pandemic has made the struggles of Saskatchewan businesses and workers more urgent,” said Wotherspoon. “Businesses haven’t gotten the relief they need to withstand the pressures of COVID-19, and people who are working fulltime are still living paycheque to paycheque. Supporting people and businesses means raising the minimum wage to $15/hour and taking action to ensure that when we’re building schools and hospitals we’re building them with Saskatchewan companies and Saskatchewan workers.”
Meili also said that the time is now to ensure all residents of rural Saskatchewan have access to high-speed internet and to encourage new industries through Renew Saskatchewan, the New Democrats’ plan to support families, businesses and municipalities to produce clean energy and retrofit existing buildings, would bolster the economy by creating jobs and making power more affordable for people and businesses.
“It’s time to rebuild and renew – to make the lives of Saskatchewan people a little easier and a lot better,” Meili said. “For a brighter future in Saskatchewan, we need to invest in people.”