NDP puts focus on mental health and construction labour PST during Tuesday Question period

The NDP are calling on the provincial government to introduce better supports for mental health care.

This comes after mental health and addictions critic Danielle Chartier received a letter from a mental health patient who has waited 18 months to see a psychiatrist.

Chartier said this is a bigger issue than it seems.

“What’s happening in our emergency rooms is a symptom of a broken health care system, not the cause,” Chartier said. “We know that when people aren’t able to access timely mental health supports, the ER is the last resort. We know that people are waiting 18 months to just hear back about the possibility of an appointment with a psychiatrist.”

Health minister Jim Reiter said recruitment to help relieve this situation is underway.

“We’ve recruited almost 900 more doctors over the last decade; substantially more doctors than were here when we were given the privilege of forming government,” Reiter said. “The member opposite had said that it’s not about one patient, that it’s about large numbers, and I understand that, but frankly the best way to help those patients is one person at a time.”

Job losses in the construction industry also promoted the NDP to question the provincial government’s record for economic growth.

Finance critic Trent Wotherspoon says the loss of 4,200 jobs in construction is the direct result of the province adding PST to construction labour in 2017.

However, trade minister Jeremy Harrison fired back with his own attacks on the NDP’s economic record, including their federal stance on pipelines and previous opposition to other economic boosters.

“This is a member who weakly has supported the carbon tax imposed on this province by (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau, the people of this province know that, it’s why they (the NDP) will never have the opportunity to govern Saskatchewan again.”

Harrison also went on to say the province has seen 15 consecutive months of year-over-year job growth.

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