Today NDP Finance Critic Trent Wotherspoon joined business owner and grandmother Carole Carman in calling on the Sask. Party government to fix its back-to-school plan to protect students and staff, and to prevent further damage to small businesses, workers and our economic recovery.

“Saskatchewan people have been doing their part, but the Sask. Party has been missing in action when it comes to presenting a real plan to safely get back into classrooms this fall,” said Wotherspoon. “Ensuring a safe reopening of schools is a matter of protecting lives, and livelihoods. If the Sask. Party’s worst-in-the-nation plan for schools fails the test and forces a shutdown again, thousands more jobs and hundreds more small businesses like Carole’s will be devastated.”

Wotherspoon pointed to the latest jobs figures from Statistics Canada of 28,800 fewer jobs in Saskatchewan than this time last year to underscore just how precarious the economy is to further job losses. 

“When COVID-19 hit our businesses, we were happy to do our part and follow all the guidelines as part of the reopening plan,” said Carman, owner of the Boards n’ Beans Café which was recently forced to close. “The vague guidelines they’ve announced for schools are far less stringent than what we were operating under in our business, increasing the risk that COVID-19 spreads through our schools and our communities. 

“I lost my business to this pandemic while following the government’s guidelines, Now I’m worried about my grandkids as the guidelines we adhered to seem to be completely forgotten.”