Sask. NDP urge Provincial Government to delay return to school as other provinces have amid Omicron concerns

Saskatchewan students return to the classroom this week, but the NDP are calling for a delay of resuming the school year.

NDP Leader Ryan Meili and Education Critic Carla Beck called on the Sask. Party government to delay the resumption of the school year until next week, and create a comprehensive Omicron strategy.

The NDP are also calling for the Education Response Planning Team to be reconvened and for additional funding be provided for school divisions for additional PPE and facility upgrades to limit transmission in schools.

“If Minister Duncan thinks his do-nothing plan is better than steps taken by every other Education Minister in the country, he should come out of hiding and defend it,” Beck said in a statement. “The reality is the Sask. Party’s plan to send thousands of kids back to school with no additional funding, public health measures, PPE or tests is one that’s doomed to fail. The Minister needs to slam the brakes on this plan and bring together experts to create a plan that will keep kids in school in the long-term.”

“It’s beyond comprehension that the premier refuses to learn from his fourth wave failures. He’s given up. Not only is he actively downplaying the real threat and endangering our healthcare system by doing nothing but he’s also putting the safety of our kids at risk,” Meili said in the same statement. “Let me be clear – letting Omicron run wild in our schools will lead to our healthcare system being overrun and lives being needlessly lost. Once again, this Premier is choosing politics, not the health of the people he represents.”

The NDP says Saskatchewan is the only province in Canada to not delay the resumption of the school year to deal with concerns around the Omicron variant.

The Opposition cite Ontario, B.C. Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador as examples of jurisdictions delaying the return to school due to Omicron concerns.

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