Letters to the editor – Feb. 28, 2017

Overcapacity at the
hospital

Dear editor,

Capacity at the Victoria Hospital has been a problem for a long time but it keeps getting worse. Instead of working to make things better, the Sask. Party is threatening more cuts and failing the people of Prince Albert who depend on our hospital to get the care they need and deserve.

The Sask. Party promised to fix the hospital but we still haven’t seen any more provincial funding or any recognition that the hospital is important to the entire North, with more than 40 per cent of the patients coming from outside of our city.

On top of it all, the Sask. Party continues to cut services, like Mobile Crisis, that help keep patients out of the emergency room.

It wasn’t us who made the Sask. Party run billions in deficits and go deeper in debt so why are they making the people of Prince Albert pay the price for Sask. Party mismanagement, scandal, and waste?

Nicole Rancourt, MLA for Prince Albert Northcote

 

Is everything really on the table?

To the editor:

The Premier has said that “everything is on the table” when it comes to balancing the budget and reducing the ever-growing deficit, which has now skyrocketed to over $1.5 Billion.

But, is everything really on the table?

If it were, he should be considering a wide-variety of options from tax reform through to drastic capital spending reductions, and not just on short-sighted items like Wallidays and selling off our highly profitable Crown Corporations.

One obvious spending reduction that could happen involves the Regina Bypass.

We are fortunate enough to be in a situation that there is much that can be done to alleviate the enormous price tag of the Regina Bypass, at least  temporarily.

A significant portion of this massive project is either not started or at a stage that it is able to be temporarily abandoned, as was done on the West Side of Regina while last-minute redesigns were occurring for the Dewdney Avenue overpass.

Such a decision is not precedent setting by any means, and it could effectively “save the day” when it comes to at least partially fixing the deficit. After all, the problems that got us here are more about significant capital spending on non-essential projects, and not the wages of hospital staff or teachers.

If everything is truly on the table, Mr. Wall owes it to taxpayers to consider halting any and all non-essential construction surrounding the Regina Bypass.

While there may be financial penalties for such delays, I am sure it would pale in comparison to the $2 Billion plus price tag that the project is expected to cost.

Such an option would be far more palatable to taxpayers as well. Of course, the overpasses along Highway #1 East should be the only pieces of the Bypass to be allowed to progress further, as the remainder of the project is more about pipe dreams and make-work projects for the construction industry, for out of province and out of country contractors , more  than anything else.

Donald Neuls, Coppersands, Saskatchewan

Thierman Financial