With a public health consensus quickly emerging that wearing a cloth mask can slow the spread of COVID-19, NDP Leader Ryan Meili is encouraging Saskatchewan people to begin wearing cloth masks in public, while continuing to stay home as much as possible and practice physical distancing.
“Saskatchewan people are staying home as much as they can. But every day, essential workers are going to work. Every day thousands of people are going to pharmacies, grocery stores, medical appointments, their jobs. Because they have to. Which is why we have to use every measure available to protect people,” said Meili.
The Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the Saskatchewan government to step up with urgent supports and protections for First Nations and Métis people who are at significant risk from the spread of COVID-19.
“First Nations and Métis leaders are doing all they can to prepare their communities for the arrival of COVID-19, but the response from the province so far has been slow and limited,” said NDP Leader and First Nations and Métis Relations Critic Ryan Meili. “We know these communities are at higher risk, with crowded housing, elevated levels of poverty and higher rates of illness.”
Today the Saskatchewan NDP called on the provincial government to address an unprecedented cash-flow crunch facing Saskatchewan small businesses. The NDP called for emergency grants for small businesses, a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, and measures to support deferral or forgiveness of payments on business leases, loans and contracts.
“Small businesses are crucial to our economic well-being, and right now, they need our support,” said NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “We’re calling on the province to step up with emergency aid for local businesses facing devastated cash flows.”
With news of two Regina childcare centres temporarily closing their doors due to a family member of a child at one of the centres being tested for COVID-19, NDP Leader Ryan Meili and Education and Childcare Critic Carla Beck called today for the closure of all childcare centres in the province, and for clarity and support for parents and operators. The closure of only those childcare centres attached to schools has caused confusion across the sector.
“Parents and childcare operators are worried about how best to protect kids and families who are accessing child care,” said Meili. “To slow the spread of COVID-19, we need to close all childcare centres, not just those attached to schools, and we need childcare solutions for essential workers that don’t involve grouping those workers’ kids together in significant numbers.”
NDP Leader Ryan Meili issued the following statement in response to the province’s release of a social services pandemic response:
An emergency demands an emergency response. Other provinces acted much more quickly and much more substantially, including Alberta, which committed $30 million over a week ago to support shelters and frontline organizations.
NDP Leader Ryan Meili called on the government to clarify rules for social distancing at seniors’ residences, for government support to allow seniors to stay in touch with their families and for the government to put a stop to a plan for families to provide care in place of home care staff in at least one facility in Prince Albert.
“Seniors are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and we need to do everything we can to protect them from the spread, while ensuring they are able to stay in touch with family outside seniors residences,” said Meili. “We are hearing from too many people saying that rules are unclear and that staffing levels don’t allow facilities to comply with the rules. This is a time to be investing in both staff and tec