Today, NDP Leader Ryan Meili called directly on Premier Moe to meet and negotiate a resumption of legislative business and the introduction of a full budget.
“This spring, Scott Moe was planning to break his own fixed election law, when he ought to have been focused on preparing our pandemic response,” said Meili. “Now it seems that he is attempting to avoid presenting a full budget before sending Saskatchewan people to the polls this fall.”
Today NDP Leader Ryan Meili joined with three Saskatchewan salon and barbershop proprietors to raise concerns about the lack of consultation with, and lack of proper guidelines for, businesses allowed to open on May 19th. Meili repeated his call for a delay in phase two of the plan, as case numbers continue to climb, and testing remains below the government’s stated goal of 1,500 per day.
“We’re now just over a week from the start of phase two, but business owners have more questions than answers about how to open safely,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “The province has failed to consult with those affected. They need to step up, listen to local business owners like those joining us today, and provide the guidelines and protections that are needed to ensure a successful and safe reopening of Saskatchewan businesses.”
Today, Trent Wotherspoon, NDP Critic for Municipal Relations and Finance, called on the provincial and federal governments to provide additional funding as grants to help compensate for serious revenue losses and interest free loans to support property tax deferrals to municipalities impacted by COVID-19. The NDP is also calling for the provincial government to invest in Saskatchewan’s economic recovery by removing the PST from construction labour for municipal projects.
“Mayors and councillors across our province are stepping up in so many ways to ensure people have the essential services they need as we all deal with the economic fallout from this pandemic,” Wotherspoon said. “But with facilities like rinks and swimming pools closed, and with far fewer people taking public transit, these local leaders are facing massive revenue shortfalls that they simply cannot respond to adequately on their own. The province needs to work with the federal government to support our cities, towns, villages and rural municipalities.”
The Saskatchewan NDP is asking the Minister of Health to answer for recent communications breakdowns in the handling of COVID-19, including the initial downplaying of the La Loche outbreak, which has now spread to Prince Albert and other communities in the Northwest, and the delay in notifying the public about the Lloydminster outbreak.
“With a growing number of local outbreaks, the Health Minister should be doing everything possible to provide the public with timely information they can trust,” said Meili. “Unfortunately, that trust was shaken last week. We need clear and complete answers for why the public was told repeatedly that the outbreak in La Loche was under control, why the decision was made to delay notifying people about the outbreak in Lloydminster, and what the Minister is doing to improve communication and coordination.”
In response to the news that an outbreak has been declared at the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert, Prince Albert Northcote MLA Nicole Rancourt issued the following statement:
“While the news today is concerning for the people of Prince Albert, specifically those with a loved one working or receiving treatment at the Victoria Hospital, I know that the people of Prince Albert are strong and resilient.
To help combat the uncertainty for families and childcare centres caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saskatchewan NDP is calling for the government to provide bridge funding for unused childcare spaces.
“As we start to open some workplaces, parents need safe places to send their kids, including school-aged children,” said NDP Childcare Critic Carla Beck. “We also know childcare operators across the province have been struggling to stay open with fewer kids attending and more limitations around their operation. The workers and the operators of these centres deserve our thanks, but they also deserve our support.”