A new school year is about to begin and the Sask Party government is clawing back more money from the school divisions and health regions.
PC Party Leader Rick Swenson said “In June, the Government reneged on their agreement to cover the full amount of the salary increase for teachers, and instead will only pay half. Now, money amounting to $2.18 million from the Workers’ Compensation Board surplus that was earmarked for school divisions is going to result in an equivalent decrease from their operating grants. That adds up to $11.8 million dollars taken away from our students, who are the future of this province.”
“Ministers Boyd, Heppner and McMorris may be gone, but taxpayers are still on the hook for more than $2 billion because of their poor decision making on the GTH and the South Regina Bypass. When you add in other cabinet mistakes Mr. Wall had no choice but to go looking for new faces. Hopefully the new Minister for the GTH, Mr. Harrison, will release information the public has been asking for, like who was the special advisor in negotiating with third parties on behalf of Bill Boyd.” said PC Party Leader Rick Swenson.
“The PC Party of Saskatchewan would like to congratulate the new ministers on their appointments to the cabinet and hope they will be more in touch with the taxpayers and the users of government services in Saskatchewan. Many of the former ministers they are replacing obviously were dropping the ball in portfolios such as Social Services, the Environment, highways and educating our youth.”
Health Minister Dustin Duncan’s announcement of a three person panel to review the current Regional Health Authority structure will not lead to any transformational change. That is opinion of PC Party Leader Rick Swenson.
“This panel is an example of government micromanagement by the Premier’s office highlighted by the appointment of the former chair of the Premier’s own health region to the panel. In fact, two thirds of the panel members are Sask Party appointees to Health Regions and the third has been appointed by the Sask Party government in other areas of health care. I think it will be very difficult for this panel to stray very far from whatever direction the government wants to go.” said Swenson. “Why not put some people from the front line on this panel? They are the ones who know what changes are needed and what health care was like before the NDP imposed the health regions.”
Cabinet Minister Bill Boyd has announced he is stepping down from cabinet before the expected cabinet shuffle later this month. “Before he steps down, Mr. Boyd should provide some answers to the taxpayers of Saskatchewan.” That is the opinion of PC Party Leader, Rick Swenson.
“With all the questionable dealings Mr. Boyd has been involved with, the taxpayers of Saskatchewan deserve some answers. I am sure the taxpayers would like to know who was the special advisor, identified in the Auditor’s Report, who negotiated the Global Transportation Hub deal with the land speculators. The residents of Saskatchewan deserve to know exactly what kind of deal Mr. Boyd negotiated with Yancoal when he travelled to China in 2014.”
“There are many questions that remain unanswered about the Carbon Capture boondoggle and the Smart metre Fiasco. Perhaps now that Minister Boyd is stepping down he would like to answer them.”
“If Mr. Boyd is not willing to step forward and answer to the people of Saskatchewan, then the Premier should be responsible to answer for the mismanaged affairs of his minister.”
“The Sask Party government mismanaged the boom, and is now desperately searching for ways to claw back some of the money they have wasted. The taxpayers deserve to know what happened to the billions of dollars lost under the not-so-watchful eye of Minister Boyd.”
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“Once again, the Sask Party government is showing their arrogance and short-sightedness by conditionally approving the Yancoal Potash Mine Project near Southey and having total disregard for the taxpayers of this province.” That is the opinion of PC Party Leader Rick Swenson.
“The Sask Party decision is very narrow in scope. Instead of showing leadership by addressing many of the concerns of the local residents, they offload the responsibility to the RM of Longlaketon and members of the community, who don’t have the clout the provincial government would have in these negotiations. Yancoal has already displayed an unwillingness to work with many of the local residents and I don’t foresee this decision changing that.”
The PC Party of Saskatchewan is calling on both the Federal Government and the Government of Manitoba to reverse the layoffs and keep the Port of Churchill open.
PC Party Leader, Rick Swenson stated “The Port of Churchill is important for all of Canada. Prime Minister Trudeau must work with the Manitoba government to keep this port open. If the rail line is not capable of supporting current hopper car weights, government needs to work with the current carrier to solve the problems to keep the tracks open.”
Many of the PC Party budget predictions from the 2016 election campaign unfortunately came true yesterday. The long-delayed Sask Party budget adds $1.4 billion in debt to the people of this province and gives nothing in return except more wasteful spending on Sask Party megaprojects like the South Regina Bypass.
Saskatchewan now has a structural deficit which will not be erased in the term of this government and we have no new long-term job creation opportunities for all of the money being spent. Newly-elected governments should be prepared to bring forward new vision and a renewed energy to lead this province over the next four years. The Sask Party has settled for the status quo instead of leading by example.