“Lives are in the balance”: Official Opposition calls on Sask. Party government to stop delay, call in military support in Long Term Care

SASKATOON - Official Opposition Leader Ryan Meili and Seniors’ Critic Matt Love called on the Sask. Party government to reverse course and call the federal government to ensure military personnel can be on hand to support the effort to save lives in Saskatchewan’s long-term care system.

“At every step, this government has delayed real action that could help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our province, and crucial in our long-term care homes,” said Meili. “That has to stop. Lives are in the balance. There can be no more delay.”

Last week the Sask. Party government stated that they would not be calling the federal government to bring in military assistance. At that time 12 residents of Parkside Extendicare in Regina had passed away. That number has now tragically climbed to 18.

“We know that the staff in Long Term Care are overwhelmed. And we know that increasing community transmission of COVID-19 makes outbreaks in long-term care facilities more likely,” said Love. “The sad reality is that this government failed to act weeks ago when it could have got a handle on the spread of the pandemic. Let’s not make the same mistake again. Mr. Premier: get on the phone now and bring in all the support we can get on the ground, now.”

Love noted that the government is waiting until later this week - Thursday, December 17 - to announce what measures Saskatchewan families can expect to see in the weeks ahead to address the pandemic. “Premier Moe and the Sask. Party government have waited too long already. Despite overwhelmed health care services, they seem satisfied to point to poll numbers instead of taking needed action. Saskatchewan families deserve better.”

New Democrats continue to call for other key measures in Long Term Care, including:

  • Hire the 300 Continuing Care Aides announced in the Throne Speech now, instead of waiting until Spring 2021
  • Introduce a standard of no more than two residents per room
  • Undertake in-person inspections at every long-term care facility with an outbreak and make the results of those inspections public.