REGINA - Today, Jobs and Economy Critic Aleana Young addressed the Sask. Party government’s failure to provide timely guidance to local businesses and employees, as the rollout of the proof of vaccination program continues to stumble and flail.
“Two weeks ago, the Premier announced that on October 1, the Sask. Party would launch a proof of vaccination mandate for customers entering businesses like restaurants, gyms, and pubs,” said Young. “Unsurprisingly, there are still so many unanswered questions about this half-baked plan: Why October 1? What are the requirements for employees in the included businesses - customers are expected to be vaccinated, but what about the staff? Why are personal services and retail stores excluded? What’s a business owner supposed to do if a customer refuses to comply? Why didn’t the government make sure the app would work with the GooglePlay store before launching?”
Young noted that liquor and cannabis stores received notice just days ago that the new requirements apply to them, leaving them little time to put staffing and equipment in place and ensure compliance. Young also wrote to Minister Harrison who is responsible for the Business Response Team on September 21, and still has not heard back.
“Out of touch, and out of contact, even with his own officials. We know the Sask. Party only pays lip service to small businesses, and this chronic unwillingness to communicate leaves businesses high and dry, forced to yet pivot again,” said Young “The Sask. Party knows the risk of an outbreak for businesses is massive but instead of doing their homework to create a real plan to mitigate that risk, the Minister has been missing in action. A fully vaccinated workplace with a close contact can carry on business as normal. If an unvaccinated workplace has a close contact, employees have to isolate, the business likely has to close, and another week or two of critical revenues are lost. It may be the final straw for hundreds of struggling businesses across the province and it could have been prevented if this government had come up with a real plan.”