🗳️ Critic critiques

Questions about another contract, more surgeries last year, and a far-right fight?

May 8, 2024 | Advertise with us

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Here’s The SKoop for Wednesday, May 8:

  • NDP critic questions Stephen Harper contract,

  • There were a record high number of surgeries performed last year, and

  • A far-right fight?

Today’s Top Stories

NDP questions government contract with Harper firm

Photo: Financial Post

The NDP’s economy critic has questions about another provincial government contract.

In Question Period on Monday, Aleana Young asked the Premier about the government’s $240,000/year contract with Harper & Associates - a firm lead by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Young said the Opposition had asked for details on the contract, including exactly what services Harper & Associates are providing to the province, through a Freedom of Information (FOIP) request, but the version they received in return had been heavily redacted.

In a statement late Monday, Trade & Export Development minister Jeremy Harrison said, “Harper & Associates provides advice to the Government of Saskatchewan on energy, resources, and agriculture among other industries in key global markets.”

Mr. Harper was in Regina this week, appearing on a panel alongside Harrison and Premier Moe at Monday’s Food, Fuel, and Fertilizer conference, hosted by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.

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Sask. touts record number of surgeries completed last year

The Saskatchewan government announced a record-breaking number of surgeries performed in Saskatchewan in 2023-2024. Over 95,000 surgeries were completed in the last fiscal year, the highest annual volume ever recorded.

Minister of Health Everett Hindley thanked the surgical teams for their work saying, “Our surgical teams are making significant strides in ensuring patients receive timely surgical procedures. Our government continues to make record investments in human resources to increase capacity in our surgical systems and address wait times.”

A particular emphasis was placed on knee and hip replacements, which saw an increase in more than 1,000 year over year.

In Question Period on Tuesday, the NDP continued to raise concerns over an out-of-province Sask. Party donor in Calgary receive a sole-sourced contract to provide these services, and said the clinic had only provided 90 surgeries. The costs per service were redacted.

In response, the province defended its decision, saying this is one way that the province has been able to reduce wait times for people here at home.

Far-right fight? Buffalo leader goes after Wilson

Buffalo Party social media

Buffalo Party leader Phil Zajac of Estevan has taken to Twitter to take on Sask. United leader Nadine Wilson for not voting on the NDP’s proposed gas tax pause motion last week. The motion was handily defeated with 9 votes in favour compared to the 31 government votes against.

In the 2020 election, the Buffalo Party placed a distant third overall having only run 17 candidates. The right-wing party even placed second in places like Cannington and Estevan with over 20% of the vote. More recently, the Saskatchewan United Party placed second in the Lumsden-Morse by-election. Both parties are fighting for votes to the right of the governing Sask. Party.

Despite a lot of social media noise, to date, neither party has publicly nominated more than a handful of candidates combined. Both parties will likely be competing for rural votes in some ridings this fall.

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2024 Election Candidate Tracker

  • Premier Scott Moe - Rosthern Shellbrook

  • Lisa Lambert - Saskatoon Churchill-Wildwood

  • Muhammad Fiaz - Regina Pasqua

  • Jeremy Harrison - Meadow Lake

  • Lori Carr - Estevan-Big Muddy

  • Eric Schmalz - Saskatchewan Rivers

  • David Buckingham - Saskatoon Westview

  • Bronwyn Eyre - Saskatoon Stonebridge

  • Steven Bonk - Moosomin-Montmartre

  • Jeremy Cockrill - The Battlefords

  • Ken Cheveldayoff - Saskatoon Willowgrove

  • Gene Makowsky - Regina University

  • Alana Ross - Prince Albert Northcote

  • Christine Tell - Regina Wascana Plains

  • Hugh Nerlien - Kelvington-Wadena

  • Marv Friesen - Saskatoon Riversdale

  • David Marit - Wood River

  • Doug Steele - Cypress Hills

  • Terry Jenson - Warman

  • Daryl Harrison - Cannington

  • Travis Keisig - Last Mountain Touchwood

  • Everett Hindley - Swift Current

  • Todd Goudy - Melfort

  • Sean Wilson - Canora-Pelly

  • Warren Kaeding - Melville-Saltcoats

  • Tim McLeod - Moose Jaw North

  • Paul Merriman - Saskatoon Silverspring

  • Terri Bromm - Carrot River Valley

  • Joe Hargrave - Prince Albert Carlton

  • Colleen Young - Lloydminster

  • Jim Reiter - Rosetown-Delisle

  • Jim Lemaigre - Athabasca

  • Kim Gartner - Kindsersley-Biggar

  • Khushdil "Lucky" Mehrok - Regina South Albert

  • Blaine McLeod - Lumsden-Morse

  • Megan Patterson - Moose Jaw Wakamow

  • Darlene Rowden - Batoche

  • Laura Ross - Regina Rochdale

  • David Chan - Yorkton

  • James Thorsteinson - Cut Knife-Turtleford

  • Rahul Singh - Regina Northeast

  • Riaz Ahmad - Regina Coronation Park

  • Ghislaine McLeod - Saskatoon University-Sutherland

  • Jamie Martens - Martensville-Blairmore

  • Maureen Alice Torr - Saskatoon Meewasin

  • Barret Kropf - Dakota-Arm River

  • John Owojori - Saskatoon Southeast

  • Mike Weger - Weyburn-Bengough

  • Brad Crassweller - White City-Qu’appelle

  • Nicole Rancourt - Prince Albert Northcote

  • Joan Pratchler - Regina Rochdale

  • Betty Nippi-Albright - Saskatoon Centre

  • Aleana Young - Regina South Albert

  • Trent Wotherspoon - Regina Mount Royal

  • Nicole Sarauer - Regina Douglas Park

  • Meara Conway - Regina Elphinstone Centre

  • Matt Love - Saskatoon Eastview

  • Nathaniel Teed - Saskatoon Meewasin

  • Erika Ritchie - Saskatoon Nutana

  • Vicki Mowat - Saskatoon Fairview

  • Jordan McPhail - Cumberland

  • Melissa Patterson - Moose Jaw Wakamow

  • Bhajan Brar - Regina Pasqua

  • Tammy Pike - Martensville-Blairmore

  • Darcy Warrington - Saskatoon Stonebridge

  • Tajinder Grewal - Saskatoon University-Sutherland

  • Carolyn Brost-Strom - Prince Albert Carlton

  • Noor Burki - Regina Coronation Park

  • Jared Clarke - Regina Walsh Acres

  • Jacqueline Roy - Regina Northeast

  • Brenda Edel - Rosetown-Delisle

  • Tom Kroczynski - The Battlefords

  • Don McBean - Saskatoon Chief Mistiwasis

  • Grady Birns - White City-Qu'Appelle

  • Lenore Pinder - Yorkton

  • Lorne Schroeder - Kelvington-Wadena

  • Thera Nordal - Last Mountain-Touchwood

  • Cheantelle Fisher - Moose Jaw North

  • Kim Breckner - Saskatoon Riversdale

  • Alana Wakula - Saskatoon Willowgrove

  • Trina Miller - Batoche

  • Sally Housser - Regina University

  • Wynn Fedorchuk - Canora-Pelly

  • Mike Tapola - Wood River