Hold on Larry Doke, your refutation (Regional Optimist June 15) of Bob Zurowski's columns in the News-Optimist and Regional Optimist in which you claim he is " misleading and inaccurate" is itself misleading and inaccurate.
Zurowski did not claim, as your letter states, that the Sask. Party government has not "made an unprecedented investment in highways." He merely opined that with the oil boom evident around us and the royalty revenue presumably flowing in, the highways should be in better shape than they are. I think Zurowski is right, the revenue should be there, or did Premier Wall foolishly leave hundreds of millions of oil dollars on the negotiating table as he did with potash?
Highway spending is at record levels as it has been every year for a dozen years or so, even Mr. Wall now concedes that the boom started with Premier Calvert, but many roads are still poor. Or poor again too quickly. It seems road crews have been told to stretch reconstruction over so many miles that it is not possible to rebuild roads properly.
Doke is proud his government has increased income support to seniors. Well, that support has been more than clawed back by increases in government prescription fees and ambulance fees. So, that's a negative.
Zurowski also wrote he can find patients on waiting lists much longer than the limits the provincial government brags about. I think most of us have heard the same stories on the radio. Doke says, "We are seeing steady progress in the effort to reduce wait times." Just today there was an investigative report on CBC radio that found there was no progress in the last year. Wait times for radiology might be reduced, but though the government is pushing the higher throughput of knee and hip surgeries to get the stats down, no progress was reported even in those areas. How much longer must people be waiting for the more complicated surgeries?
The Sask. Party government may also be fudging the stats. Under the NDP, a patient who left the province for diagnosis or treatment was still on the list until it was reported the needed work was done. Under the Sask. Party, those patients are off the wait list as soon as they leave, whether the work is ever done or not. And we're still short of ER nurses. That particular wait time isn't tallied.
I think Zurowski had a some good columns there, I've been thinking some of the same things.