Extendicare Hires Sask Party Donor To Help Spin Dismal Pandemic Response

SASKATOON - Official Opposition Critic for Seniors Matt Love raised concerns that the Sask. Party government didn’t act swiftly in response to Extendicare’s abysmal COVID-19 response in Saskatchewan due to a cozy relationship with Extendicare’s PR firm.

“Families in Saskatchewan are outraged at the tragic scale of death at Extendicare Parkside and calling for real change, including the end to for-profit care that is failing our seniors,” said Love. “But the Sask. Party has refused to act. We may now know why.”

The latest CBC story on Extendicare in Saskatchewan contains a PDF that lists “Sarah Del Giallo” as the author. Del Giallo is a Senior Consultant, Corporate Affairs & Communications at the lobbying and public relations firm Enterprise Canada. Enterprise Canada donated $1,200 to the Sask. Party in 2019. Enterprise Canada also employs former United Conservative Party of Alberta president Erika Barootes as their Vice President for Western Canada. Barootes campaigned for the Sask Party in Saskatoon Eastview during the last election campaign.

“Extendicare and the Sask. Party government repeatedly passed the buck throughout the course of the outbreak at Extendicare Parkside,” said Love. “While families were grieving and worrying for their loved ones, the Sask. Party was working to protect their friends and insiders and Extendicare was bringing in extra PR staff instead of extra healthcare staff. That’s not right, and Saskatchewan people deserve better.”

Melissa Lantsman, a former spokesperson for Ontario Premier Doug Ford and now Enterprise Canada’s Vice President for National Public Affairs has also lobbied for Extendicare during the pandemic and is now the Conservative Party of Canada candidate for the next federal election in the electoral district of Thornhill.

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