While I will pass along thanks to Herb Cox for his service to our community, I would take issue with his categorization of the NDP election strategy being built on “lies.” The Sask. Party official stance, which Mr. Cox parrots out in his letter, side steps and glosses over many actual facts regarding cuts that have been made, while belittling the NDP’s honest questioning of Sask. Party policy. Remember the GTH scandal, the Regina overpass, the dollars wasted and the absolute disaster of the PPP projects, for instance the Saskatchewan Hospital, in a state of disrepair ever since day one. In this discussion, I certainly will point out that millions, yes, millions of dollars were wasted on “LEAN”. This disastrous fiasco has crippled our response to this pandemic, and anyone who thinks otherwise has not been in an under equipped, under staffed hospital lately. An ongoing waste of resources and person years that begs description.
Mr. Cox claims one actual increase, in the funding of SaskPolyTech. I wonder why that claim ignores the letter from PolyTech to CBC in late June, apprising them of the layoff of 37 staff, and the suspension of several programs, including addictions counselling. We have read in the past weeks of the record number of fatalities related to drug use, and this is one of the programs cut? The increase in funding may be a number, but it does little to explain why laying off 37 staff and suspension of core programs is not a cut. Mr. Cox notes that this increase in funding was voted against by the NDP. This is pretty rich, coming from a government that unanimously voted down a bill to address the appalling youth suicide rates in our province, particularly among marginalized communities.
Mr. Cox claims there have been no cuts to classrooms, perhaps he had mislaid the part of the budget from three years ago where post education funding, just one area, was cut by 30 million dollars? Some of this amount was grudgingly reallocated, laughingly called an increase by the Finance Minister. The whole COVID-19 portion of Saskatchewan’s return to school plan has been woefully mismanaged, with no leadership shown, no solid information of safety for teachers, substitute teachers and support staff. Moe et al seem to think that it’s okay to have hundreds of school kids thrown into close proximity, but they refuse to recall the legislature, where you can be sure there would have been a lot of difficult questions left unanswered.
Back to school plans have changed so many times it’s ludicrous, if Mr. Cox has actually talked to any teachers lately, I seriously doubt he would have got a pat on the back from any of them. Thank goodness many school divisions, with input from school boards and teachers, have stepped up and made some headway in getting information that counts out to worried parents, because the message from the people that should be providing direction and stability has changed practically daily. The Sask Party are now stating that they have a “solid” plan, less than a week before school is scheduled to resume. I’m sure a few days are all that’s needed for parents to make a possibly critical decision on their child’s health
Strangely enough, there are those of us who believe that people who actually live here should have good jobs. They have this persistent idea that the residents of Saskatchewan actually have the brains and skills needed to take any project to fruition. But of course that does not bring the big donors to our easily purchased government. Their pandering to big business is abhorrent, and has no end in sight, just note the plans for Wascana Park. Money is talking, unfortunately it is our tax dollars that are in jeopardy.
So, in essence, this last request for honesty falls into the category of don’t do what I do, do what I say, the honesty plea has all the hallmarks of election year stumping, with not one look in the mirror for the Sask Party.