NDP Education Critic Carla Beck was joined by Krysta Shacklock, a Saskatoon mother with an immunocompromised daughter, to call for an adequate plan to get vulnerable kids with compromised immunity back to school safely. 

“Parents want to send their children back to school in the fall, but they haven’t seen a plan from the government that will lead them to believe that it’s possible to do so safely, especially in light of the province seeing a spike in cases of COVID-19 and the government falling behind on testing,” Beck said. “The uncertainty only worsens for the many parents in Saskatchewan when they have immunocompromised children – the Sask. Party has simply failed these parents.”

Krysta’s daughter is recovering from cancer, and she has grave concerns with the absence of a clear plan with adequate funding to keep kids who are at increased risk amid the COVID-19 pandemic safe. Shacklock is the founder of Saskatchewan Immune Compromised Families group made up of parents and teachers who have raised their concerns with the return to classroom plan with Minister Wyant and started a petition that has garnered over 1,100 signatures.

“We need explicit support from the Saskatchewan government to get our children and teachers safely back in the classroom and would like to know what the government’s plans and ideas are to ensure safety and inclusion for immunocompromised families in Saskatchewan,” Shacklock wrote.

The government’s guidelines only plan for the best-case scenario, but Beck said the plan should include contingency plans if there are ongoing flare ups in cases. With more than 100 new cases in the last two days, overcapacity issues in Saskatoon ICUs, and serious delays in testing, it’s clear the pandemic is not under control in Saskatchewan. Other provinces, including Nova Scotia have released more robust plans that include additional funding and details on what will happen should blended learning be required, or a return to full learning from home.

“By not having any new funding or an actual plan to deal with the uncertainties that the pandemic will bring, the government will only continue to let parents down and it won’t provide them the comfort they need when the school year comes,” Beck said.