Advertisement

Saskatchewan NDP leader says they’re ready for an early election

Saskatchewan NDP leader says they’re ready for an early election
WATCH: Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili says the party is ready for an early election and that Premier Scott Moe will call one on March 19.
“[Premier Moe is] planning on starting an election on March 19. … Let’s not pretend otherwise and let’s not let him pretend otherwise,” Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili told a crowd of party members on Saturday.

He was speaking at the party’s provincial council, a gathering of approximately 70 internally-elected party delegates and members.

It may be the last meeting of the party’s leadership before the upcoming provincial election.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe won’t commit to fall election; cites national unrest

Story continues below advertisement

Last month, Premier Scott Moe said he’s planning for an October election but reserved the right to ask the lieutenant-governor to drop the writ early, which would end the legislative session and officially start the campaign.

The Saskatchewan Party’s next provincial budget is scheduled to be unveiled on March 18.

“We’re ready to go,” Meili told the crowd, who greeted the announcement with cheers.

A Saskatchewan Health Authority memo, released by the Saskatchewan NDP on Friday, tells staff not to drink the water at the hospital.
A Saskatchewan Health Authority memo, released by the Saskatchewan NDP on Friday, tells staff not to drink the water at the hospital. Courtesy of the Sask NDP

READ MORE: New hospital in Prince Albert will serve all of northern Saskatchewan, government says

The meeting comes a day after the NDP released documents showing the Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford is under a boil water advisory and that sewage has flooded the basement.

Story continues below advertisement

“They’ve got … wastewater that’s into the drinking water, people can’t wash their hands without using sanitizer on top of it, there’s restrictions on bathing, they can’t drink the water or cook with it in a hospital. This is what we see with the Sask Party undertakes big projects,” Meili told reporters.

The NDP has regularly attacked the Saskatchewan Party over the quality and method of construction of the hospital.

READ MORE: Roof at new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford leaks, needs replacing

It opened in March 2019, after costing $407 million to build, and has been plagued by issues since then. Last May the government revealed the roof was leaking and in October it advised people not to drink the water because of high levels of copper and lead.

Meili said he worries about the future of the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert, for which the government just announced a $300 million expansion, because of the problems with the Saskatchewan Hospital.

“We should be building a hospital in Prince Albert, absolutely, but we should do it not as a P3 [a public-private partnership, between the government and for-profit business] and we should do it with workers from here in Saskatchewan,” he added.
Story continues below advertisement

“In the case of North Battleford, there were some inferior building materials that were used. We’re identifying each and all of those and they’ll be replaced at no cost to the Saskatchewan residents and Saskatchewan taxpayers,” Premier Scott Moe said on Friday.

With files from Kyle Benning, David Giles, Ryan Kessler and the Canadian Press.