NDP

Sask. NDP promises improvements to long-term care homes

The Saskatchewan NDP has committed to strengthening standards in the province’s long term care homes. 

NDP candidate for Saskatoon Fairview Vicki Mowat said at an event Tuesday that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of the importance of adequate staffing in long term care homes. 

“We’ve seen the impacts that cuts and underfunding of long term care have had in other places across Canada,” she said. “Cuts to dignified care for seniors are a bad idea at the best of times. Right now, they’re downright dangerous.”

Mowat said the NDP is looking to bring back standards of minimum hours of care per resident that were cut in 2011 and replaced by program guidelines for special care homes in 2013. 

“This would help ensure each resident has the time they need with health-care workers to stay safe, to be healthy and to live a dignified life,” Mowat said. “It would also relieve the pressure on workers, increase staffing in facilities and ensure caregivers have the time they need to do their job safely.”

Saskatoon resident Brenda Cromwell said this policy would have helped her family when her father, who had dementia and required a high level of care, lived in a care home. 

“The care workers who cared for my father did the best they could but sometimes, basic care needs were not met in a timely manner because the facilities were chronically understaffed,” Cromwell said.

“Eventually, my brother left his job and between the two of us, we were with my dad an average of 14 hours a day, working two shifts of seven hours each, seven days a week. We did this to supplement my father’s care.”

Cromwell said she saw how understaffing problems impacted long term care home residents, families and staff.

“I saw seniors trapped

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Home renovation tax credit proposed by Sask. Party, NDP proposes wealth tax

The Saskatchewan Party is promising a new home renovation tax credit while the NDP said it would bring in a wealth tax as the election campaign came to Saskatoon on Wednesday.

Scott Moe, the leader of the Saskatchewan Party, said homeowners would be able to claim a 10.5 per cent tax credit on up to $20,000 of eligible renovations under his proposed tax credit.

“In this year’s budget, we reduced the PST on new home construction,” Moe said in a statement.

“We also want to provide a break to those who are fixing up their existing home. This new home renovation tax credit does just that.”

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The tax credit would include permanent additions to a homeowner’s primary residence but does not include items like furniture, appliances, hot tubs, tools or maintenance, Moe said

The cost of the program — which would run from Oct. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2022 — is estimated by the Saskatchewan Party at $124 million.

The party said the maximum eligible amount allowed to be claimed to the end of 2021 is $11,000 and $9,000 for 2022.

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Ryan Meili said his proposed wealth tax would bring tax fairness to the province.

“We can do better — and ask the wealthiest amongst us to help ensure every family has access to the health care they need, when they need it,” Meili said in a statement.

“It’s time for a tax plan that puts people first — not the Sask. Party’s old boys’ club.”

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NDP faces uphill

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NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

VANCOUVER—A policy difference over child care between the NDP and Greens has emerged in the B.C. election, with each party blaming the other for failing to do more on the issue in the last minority government.

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to bring $10-a-day child care to British Columbia and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts to achieve the party’s promise from the 2017 election.

But Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said her party has been pushing the NDP for child-care legislation, but Horgan chose to call an election for Oct. 24 instead of continuing to work with the Greens.

She said both parties share similar child care goals, but the Greens also want early childhood education included in the public system.

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson campaigned Thursday in key ridings in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, telling voters he wants the party to prove itself in areas won by the NDP three years ago.

He said a Liberal government would introduce an affordable child-care plan with costs that would vary according to family resources.

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