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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Sask. Party promises $124M home renovation tax credit if re-elected

As the provincial election gets underway, the Saskatchewan Party is promising a home renovation tax credit that it says will help homeowners and provide a boost to the economy.

“In this year’s budget, we reduced the PST on new home construction. We also want to provide a break to those who are fixing up their existing home,” Sask. Party Leader Scott Moe said in a news release announcing the proposed credit.

Under the credit, homeowners would be able to claim a 10.5 per cent tax credit on up to $20,000 of eligible home renovation expenses incurred between Oct. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2022, saving them up to $2,100, the release said.

Expenses eligible for the proposed tax credit include permanent additions to a home, but not furniture, appliances or maintenance such as furnace or carpet cleaning.

Hot tubs and tools and would also not be covered under the credit, the release said.

“It’s an incentive to spend, build and hire, which helps drive a strong recovery,” Moe said. 

Homeowners taking advantage of the proposed credit would be able to claim $20,000

in renovation costs on their 2021 and 2022 income tax returns for a maximum non-refundable credit of $2,100.

To qualify for the credit, homeowners would need to spend at least $1,000 on renovations.

Also under the Sask. Party plan, the maximum amount which can be claimed varies by tax year.

Between $1,000 and $12,0000 could be claimed on a homeowner’s 2021 provincial income tax return for renovations to a primary residence undertaken between Oct. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2021.

Up to $9,000 in renovation expenses could be claimed on a homeowner’s for working happening between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022.

The Sask. Party pegs the cost of the proposed cost of the credit at

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