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Legislative Report (8 February 2006)

Legislative Report

8 February 2006
Nothing New in NDP Cabinet Shuffle

A movie came out in 1995 called The Usual Suspects. The people of Saskatchewan should remember that title when they are evaluating the new NDP cabinet. The new model looks pretty much like the old one.

Why do we have a new Minister of Health? Its because the old one did such a poor job. John Nilson gave us the longest waiting lists in Canada. Under his leadership the NDP had the largest percentage of people on a waiting list. The NDP created the longest wait time for a CT scan in the country. And we still have patients waiting more than 25 weeks for some treatments.

In Saskatoon, the citys last endocrinologist is retiring and the two remaining in Regina have year-long waiting lists. Plans for 43 new beds in Regina were cancelled in December because there was not enough staff. That was something the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses was able to predict. Not John Nilson. According to a recent Conference Board of Canada study the NDP is now seeing the nations highest rates for chlamydia, the highest potential years of life lost due to unintended injury and the lowest rate of patient satisfaction amongst men for community-based care. The real question is given his mismanagement of the portfolio, why was Nilson allowed to stay on for so long?

Why do we have a new Minister of Finance? Its because the old one did such a poor job. With Harry Van Mulligen in charge, the Saskatchewan economy was shedding jobs in the middle of an oil boom. Van Mulligen low-balled estimates for oil revenues in his last budget so that money could be put in an NDP election slush fund. Then Van Mulligen ridiculed the Saskatchewan Party for coming up with estimates that were actually more accurate than the governments.

And why precisely do we need three different ministers responsible for the economy and employment? Shouldnt the emphasis be on creating jobs for young people in Saskatchewan instead of creating jobs for NDP MLAs?

In the final analysis, it may not really matter who is at the head of each department. It may not really matter who is in the NDP cabinet. With an economy losing jobs and real hurt in rural Saskatchewan, its time for some new ideas and some new approaches. And we havent seen much of that from the NDP in a number of years.

If you have any questions about this report or any other issue, just Contact Glen.

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