Health care, tax cuts, touted in annual dinner speech by Saskatchewan premier

SASKATOON – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says his government’s record isn’t perfect, but he’s still proud of what it’s accomplished.

Wall’s comment came Thursday night in a speech at his annual premier’s dinner in Saskatoon, where he focused on comparing his government’s record to that of the previous NDP administration.

He touted his government’s investments in infrastructure, a children’s hospital, lower hospital wait times, a reduction in the operating debt and tax cuts.

Wall also told the gathering that despite the slump in oil prices, Saskatchewan’s diversified economy will help pull up the slack.

His speech came the same day Saskatchewan’s child and youth advocate, Bob Pringle, released a report which said the government should license foster homes and provide more consistent funding.

Wall admitted to reporters after the dinner that more help is needed in this area, even though spending on foster care is up and fewer children in Saskatchewan are in care.

The premier was also asked about the release of a survey last week by the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, which said one in three of its members thinks patients are “frequently” put at risk due to short staffing.

Wall said 2,600 more nurses of “every designation” have been hired.

“I hope that’s an indication to SUN and others that we take these things seriously, and that we’re going to continue to make progress,” he said.

Voters in Saskatchewan are expected to go to the polls next year. (CKOM, CJME)