Fall session revealed more questions than answers on deadly 4th wave
REGINA - With mounting evidence the Sask. Party government put political considerations ahead of a public health response that would have protected Saskatchewan’s health system and saved lives, the Official Opposition is calling for the Premier to commit to a full independent public inquiry into the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We started this session knowing the Premier had ignored Dr. Shahab’s recommendations, buried the modelling, and had ignored doctors and other medical experts,” said Meili. “What’s become clear since, is that Saskatchewan’s health system has been driven to the brink of collapse, SHA leaders are jumping ship, but this government refuses to answer why. The Sask. Party government spent the fall session spinning instead of providing answers to why they continued to put politics ahead of people’s lives during the greatest health crisis of our generation.”
A public inquiry would provide answers to outstanding questions on the provincial government’s failed handling of the fourth wave:
- Why did the Premier ignore modelling in June that predicted the deadly fourth wave, and rush to remove COVID restrictions despite missing their own immunization target?
- Did the Premier and Health Minister’s rhetoric regarding “personal rights” sow confusion and hesitancy, further hampering Saskatchewan’s immunization rates?
- Why did the Education Minister ignore the warning signs, refuse to follow SHA back-to-school recommendations, and download his responsibilities to school divisions?
- What were the consequences of ignoring the recommendations of the government’s own local medical health officers — instead choosing to pander to the fears of creating “two classes of citizens” — all while Saskatchewan posted record new case rates?
- Why did the Premier blame northern leaders and the federal government for the rise in cases, rather than take accountability for his own actions?
- Why did the Premier refuse to accept federal aid when it was offered, instead opting to call US states, until having to medevac patients to Ontario?
- What medical health recommendations were ignored by this government, resulting in thousands of cancelled surgeries, organ transplants and therapies?
- What medical health recommendations were accepted or ignored by this government which led the province to have the highest COVID death rate in Canada, culminating in October being Saskatchewan’s deadliest month of the pandemic?
- In light of recent departure of the CEO of the SHA Scott Livingstone, and other key senior SHA officials, what role has the government played in the “unprecedented pressure” within the Saskatchewan Health Authority?
“This is a government that has shown time and time again that it is politics, not what is best for Saskatchewan people, that has driven it’s COVID response. The people of this province deserve answers on the medical advice and recommendations that were provided to this Premier and his government,” said Meili. “We need an non-partisan, independent inquiry to get to the bottom of what led Saskatchewan to have the worst pandemic response of all provinces.”
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