Friday September 19, 2014

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Spring sitting draws reaction

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Estevan MLA Doreen Eagles says that the recent spring sitting of the Saskatchewan Legislature offered a lot for residents in her constituency.

The spring session wrapped up May 15. The provincial budget, which was released in March, included pre-construction work to twin Highways 39 and 6 from Regina to Estevan, and Highway 39 from Estevan to the junction with Highway 18.

"We have a growing economy, which allows us to make important investments in infrastructure and more importantly in people," said Eagles.

Highway 39 from northwest of Estevan to northwest of Macoun will be resurfaced this year, she said. A couple of bridges on the Roche Percee access road will be replaced, and work will continue on the truck route north of Estevan.

"Estevan's a busy place and Saskatchewan's a busy place, and there are a lot of projects going on that allow us to keep Saskatchewan on the path to steady growth," said Eagles.

Eagles is also pleased that a long-term care centre in Radville will open soon, since that community is on the western edge of her riding.

Other projects announced during the spring session were a truck bypass for Regina; a commuter bridge for Saskatoon; new training seats for apprenticeship programs and adult basic education; and nine new joint-use schools that will be funded through private-public partnerships.

The opposition NDP criticized the government on a number of fronts, accusing them of neglecting the basics in health care, seniors care and education. They said the Saskatchewan Party has a growing sense of entitlement and obsession with projects.

“For me and my team, politics isn’t just about the province doing well – it’s about people doing well,” said NDP Leader Cam Broten.

“I believe people should be benefitting more from our province’s strong economy, but the reality for far too many hardworking families right now is that extra costs just keep piling up while the services we should all be able to count on, like health care, seniors care and education, are getting worse because of this government’s neglect.”

The NDP says it pushed the government to fix the basics in health care and seniors care, instead of investing well over $100 million into its Lean concept. The government’s Lean spending includes $40 million for one American consultant, over $17 million per year for Kaizen Promotion Offices, and $3,500 per day for Japanese firms senseis.

As a positive step toward fixing the seniors care crisis, the NDP introduced legislation that would have required the government to establish minimum quality of care standards and a residents-in-care bill of rights, but the NDP says the government opposed the motion.


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