Today, the Leader of Saskatchewan’s Official Opposition Ryan Meili wrote Premier Scott Moe renewing the opposition’s call for a special committee to address the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19, a call that has recently been echoed by constitutional expert Howard Leeson and political columnist Murray Mandryk.
The Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the provincial government to work more closely with northern communities to ensure clear protocols and protections for stopping the spread of COVID-19, including clear answers for northern municipalities seeking to restrict access to their communities to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“Our northern communities need support and solutions as we grapple with the spread of this virus,” said Highways Critic and NDP MLA for Athabasca Buckley Belanger. “Some communities are wanting to restrict access, and many are concerned about liquor stores remaining open. The province has so far been inconsistent in providing clear direction or support.”
With Canada’s Chief Medical Health Officer confirming today that wearing a cloth mask is an “additional measure that you can take to protect others around you in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain,” NDP Leader Ryan Meili is calling on the Saskatchewan government to facilitate the production of non-medical masks for distribution to the public.
“While medical grade masks must be reserved for frontline healthcare workers, Saskatchewan people can do their part in limiting the spread of COVID-19 by wearing simple cloth masks when they need to be out in public,” Meili said.
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.”