The Ministry oversees the newly implemented Saskatchewan Income Support (SIS) program and the Saskatchewan Assured Income Disability (SAID) programs. While the Saskatchewan Party government has lauded the change to SIS as a move to greater “choice and responsibility”, this change will mean even fewer supports for the most vulnerable. Meara regularly advocates for people who have not been treated fairly or have been denied supports they are entitled to.
The Ministry oversees the child apprehension and family services systems. This year will mark the largest Ministry of Social Services budget ever. Despite that, Saskatchewan has set a grim record of the highest number of child welfare deaths in recent history. Saskatchewan’s advocate for children and youth recently called for reforms to better protect vulnerable children living in group homes. Clearly, we can and must do so much better for Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable. Meara is particularly concerned about the child apprehension system in Saskatchewan and the lack of will to make changes. She is committed to key reforms in this area that would see supports getting at the root causes of Ministry involvement – poverty, addiction, and the continuing effect of colonialism.