REGINA – The Saskatchewan NDP have brought a long list of health care horror stories to the legislature over the past few years.
At times, the tales of problems in long term care homes or lengthy emergency room waits have embarrassed the Saskatchewan Party government and even led to policy changes.
But the focus on health care under Cam Broten’s leadership hasn’t moved the needle when it comes to the NDP’s polling numbers.
A mid-November Insightrix Research poll showed the Saskatchewan Party still commands support from 54 per cent of decided voters in the province – more than double the support for Broten’s NDP.
The party sits seven points lower than the 2011 provincial election, when 32 per cent of the popular vote translated into just nine of the 58 seats in the Saskatchewan legislature.
Broten told Global News in a year-end interview that health care is “incredibly important” to Saskatchewan families, saying that’s why it remains the issue most often raised in the legislature.
“It’s not about polling numbers, it’s about the issue they care about.”
“Thats what I’m hearing from them in the grocery aisles or out at events,” Broten said. “It’s about our loved ones, it’s about our kids, it’s about our neighbours.”
He cited long emergency room waits and a recent spike in the number of people waiting three-or-more months for surgery as issues the government hasn’t prioritized.
Broten was asked why the NDP’s polling numbers haven’t improved if health care issues are going top of mind for most voters when they go to the polls on April 4.
“When I speak with a family that took their little one to an emergency room and waited hours with the little child crying, for them it’s not about polling numbers, it’s about the issue they care about,” Broten said.
“We’ll continue talking about this in the lead-up to the election and throughout the election too.”Follow @mikemckinnon
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