Saskatchewan has enormous potential for wealth creation that benefits everyone. To reach that potential, we need to invest in the human and physical infrastructure that supports a thriving, diversified economy. We can:
- Leverage the strength of SaskTel, SaskPower, and our stable physical and political environment to make Saskatchewan the home of cloud storage, supporting a burgeoning tech industry;
- Introduce pay equity legislation to address the gender wage gap and increase the minimum wage to $15 within two years of forming government;
- Decrease poverty by 50% in 5 years with a poverty reduction strategy based on the ignored recommendations from the 2015 Advisory Group.
Government can and should think far beyond the next election cycle, and there’s no wiser investment in our future than ensuring that every kid gets a healthy start. We can:
- Establish a Ministry of the Child and build the best childcare and early education system in the country;
- Roll out a nutritious lunch program in Saskatchewan schools so that no child goes to school too hungry to learn;
- Restore funding in all levels of education and expand on the strengths of the community schools model by introducing more supports in the places where families gather.
First Nations and Métis peoples are a fundamental strength of our province. There remain serious challenges, however, to making Saskatchewan a place where people from all communities are able to thrive. We can:
- Seize the opportunity presented by a young and growing First Nations and Métis population by making culturally appropriate education and employment training available in Indigenous communities;
- Work collaboratively with First Nations and Métis leadership, communities, and the Treaty Commission to close the gap in health, education, and economic outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, with the premier mandated to deliver an annual Closing the Gap address in the legislative assembly;
- Re-establish a Ministry of First Nations and Métis Relations that acknowledges the impact of colonialism and is charged with implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
We are rightly proud of Saskatchewan’s legacy as the home of Medicare, but we can’t be satisfied with the status quo. We can build a health system that meets our changing needs and helps to prevent illness in the first place. We can:
- Introduce Pharmacare, providing universal coverage for a formulary of essential medications, and work with other provinces to advocate for a national plan;
- Save money in healthcare by using the Choosing Wisely Canada approach to evidence-based practice;
- Expand access to key services, including emergency mental health care and psychological counselling services, as well as dental, hearing and vision screening services for every Saskatchewan child.
Our lives are connected, whether we’re in the country or the city. In order to succeed, we need to recognize the contribution and the needs of rural communities. We can:
- Give rural communities greater influence on local delivery of healthcare and education, including repealing Bill 63 to return autonomy to local school boards;
- Design a provincial transportation system that meets the needs of today’s travellers, restore efficient freight service, and use the strength of SaskTel to deliver high-speed internet and quality cellular service across the province;
- Work with local stakeholders, experts and oversight bodies to develop a strategy to deal with water drainage problems and the preservation of wetlands.
We have the most abundant sources of renewable energy in the country. It’s time for Saskatchewan to take pride in leading the way as we develop the energy infrastructure of the 21st century. We can:
- Build capacity for small towns and reserves to meet their energy needs with local renewable power generation;
- Establish an energy efficiency body, distinct from SaskPower, that focuses on cutting our overall energy needs by investing in conservation, subsidizing retrofits for existing buildings, and creating conservation-focused building codes and incentives for high-efficiency new construction;
- Create a made-in-Saskatchewan approach to carbon pricing that brings in new jobs, benefits rural and northern communities, and effectively incentivizes reductions in carbon emissions.
Democratic is the middle of our party’s name and should be the centre of all we do. Let’s show what’s possible when the people lead. We can:
- Make elections free and fair by introducing campaign finance reform that ends corporate and union donations to political parties and sets limits on personal donations;
- Convene a Citizens’ Assembly to study methods of improving democratic engagement, voter turnout and fair representation;
- Revitalize democracy in the NDP by creating more opportunities for meaningful participation from members, and adopt equity-seeking candidate rules to encourage diverse representation.
I’m running for leader of the Saskatchewan NDP for the same reason I went into medicine: I want everyone to have the opportunity to enjoy the best health they can. With the right combination of smart ideas and strong values, we can win government and make a real difference in people’s lives.
So how are we going to pay for it? Read on here.
Help us make this vision a reality. Pledge your support.
What’s your idea for building a better Saskatchewan? Share it with us.