First Question Period At Sask. Legislature Focused on COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic took centre stage during the Saskatchewan legislature’s first question period of the new fall session.

Ryan Meili, leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, said instead of committing to further investment and action in the throne speech read on Monday afternoon, he claimed that the premier gave more breathing room to anti-maskers and mused about opening up for Christmas.

“At this rate, the only thing that will be opening for Christmas is a field hospital, which is entirely due to inaction on the part of this government,” stated Meili in the legislature.

Meili noted how the government’s mid-year report announced Friday shows there is still $260 million of a contingency fund that should be used to help Saskatchewan people during COVID-19. He asked why the government is not doing more and is waiting to spend money from the contingency fund.

“What is the premier waiting for? Our ICUs and hospitals are overwhelmed, we have outbreaks in long-term care and in corrections. Things are going very badly,” he mentioned. “This isn’t a contingency. It’s an emergency.”

Responding to Meili’s questions, Pemier Scott Moe said the government has taken a “balanced and measured approach” since the start of the pandemic.

“We have always said this response will focus on ensuring we can preserve the capacity of our health care system, opportunities, jobs in our communities and to ensure we have the opportunity for our youth to have some semblance of normalcy.”

He added how the government has been there to provide supports for people and businesses, pointing to a portion of the contingency fund being made available for school divisions to keep students and staff safe during COVID-19.

Moe said their government will also continue to follow the advice from Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab to curb the spread of the virus.

(CKRM)

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