Legislative Report (7 December 2006)
7 December 2006
Fall Session Proved NDP Must Go!
The fall session of the Saskatchewan Legislature is now over. Never before have we seen more evidence that the current NDP government is well beyond its “best before date” and a provincial election is needed as soon as possible.
The NDP government is experiencing unprecedented prosperity. Its coffers are overflowing with money from taxes and high energy prices. Yet despite numerous assurances to the contrary, families in Saskatchewan don’t seem to be seeing any of the benefit. Nor is anyone looking at ways of making sure we take advantage of the current good times in a way that assures our prosperity in the future.
Instead the NDP, focused on its political survival, is letting programs to help people deteriorate while it establishes a $900 million election slush fund and a community infrastructure program. Here are just a few examples of the problems highlighted in this past session.
Long Term Care
The total number of long-term beds has been cut by 136 in the last three years. Currently there are 557 people on the waiting list for these beds. The NDP health minister says “we can’t be overbuilding long-term care beds so that we have empty beds waiting for individuals who may come along.” The NDP would rather keep seniors waiting instead of providing adequate levels of service.
Just this month, the Wait Times Alliance issued its report. The Alliance is made up of several groups representing doctors and specialists. Their report card gave Saskatchewan an A, a D, an F and two incompletes. In fact, Saskatchewan scored the lowest of all provinces for joint replacement. For example, 38 per cent of Regina patients are still waiting 18 months or longer for this kind of surgery. The NDP’s health minister was more than happy to take credit for the “A” grade in cardiac care, but complained about the “inconsistent data” used to arrive at the less favourable grades.
Time and time again during the session, the Saskatchewan Party brought forward examples of rural hospitals closing for a period of time. News that hospitals are shutting down frequently came as a surprise to people in those communities and they pose a real risk to the quality of patient care. The NDP continually dismissed those who said there have been more closures than usual this fall. Then, on the second last day of the session, the health minister admitted the situation is worse than normal.
Oyate Safe House
The disturbing cover-up of problems at the Oyate Safe House continued unabated this fall. The safe house was supposed to be a place of refuge for young women being victimized in the sex trade. Two blistering reports by the Provincial Auditor and the Children’s Advocate showed the safe house was poorly managed and failed to provide adequate services.
The NDP has failed to provide answers about how these problems could continue for so long. Efforts by the Saskatchewan Party to hear testimony from a former Deputy Minister have been stonewalled by the NDP. So have efforts to conduct a review of all agencies receiving money from the government to provide services to children.
Just this past week, the provincial auditor expressed concerns that third party groups were receiving millions of dollars, yet there was no way to find out if that money was going to the people who need it.
The NDP government is not protecting the children of this province, and it’s not protecting the hard earned money it’s being given by taxpayers.
The fall session proved conclusively this NDP government must go!
If you have a question about this report or any other matter, just Contact Glen.
Past Legislative Reports