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NDP MLA blasts provincial government's Saskatoon shelter plan

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Saskatoon Centre NDP MLA Betty Nippi-Albright took aim at the government for what she sees as a lack of sufficient consultation about a new short-term shelter for people with severe addictions and other complex needs.

Last week, the province successfully sought Saskatoon city council's blessing to open the shelter in a former SLGA retail location on Idylwyld Drive. Many who live near the location have expressed concern about the plan.

"Before making this announcement, the Sask. Party did zero consultations with people who live and work nearby.Many of them are my constituents," Nippi-Albright said during question period on Tuesday.

"Why is the Sask Party opening this shelter without doing any consultation with impacted community beforehand?" Nippi-Albright asked.

In response, social services minister Gene Makowsky said "pamphlets and information" had been shared in the surrounding area.

"This is exactly what our municipal partners have been asking for. This is exactly what the police have been asking for," Makowsky said.

Nippi-Albright said she agrees there is a need more mental health and addiction supports but takes issue with the government's approach.

"We need action on housing for people. (But) there is a right way and wrong way to do this," Nippi-Albright. 

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