New Democrats sound alarm on Covid-19 numbers and need to support economy, businesses

NDP Leader Ryan Meili and Economy and Jobs Critic Aleana Young called today for emergency action to control the spread of COVID-19 and support Saskatchewan businesses in a second wave.

“A plan that fails to control COVID-19 fails to support Saskatchewan businesses,” said Meili. “If we don’t take steps to contain the pandemic then we will be seeing hospitals overwhelmed, and schools and businesses closing. Any action not taken now means more severe measures will have to be taken further down the road. With doctors joining together to call for action from the government, it’s time for real leadership.”

Due to an extended surge in cases, the province of Manitoba has entered into lockdown as of today. Alberta is considering added measures in response to case increases there. “We need to be looking at Manitoba and other jurisdictions that are facing higher cases and more severe restrictions and ask ‘what weren’t they doing a month ago that we should be doing now?’” said Meili. “It’s time to listen to doctors, nurses and health care professionals, learn from the experience of other provinces and take coordinated action - now.”

Young noted that businesses and workers are worried about the effect of a second wave and deserve to know what the plan is to control the virus and support people who are out of work if another lockdown is necessary. While the Sask. Party’s election platform contained $66 million in cuts to COVID-19 supports for businesses and families, the government’s own numbers say that our province will lose 24,900 jobs this year and Saskatchewan was the only province to see it’s economy shrink in the lead up to the pandemic. 

“I own a small business. I’m worried that if we don’t get the virus under control now we’re going to see more closures and more jobs lost further down the road,” said Young. “This government needs to be proactive instead of sitting back and just waiting for things to get worse. Every option needs to be on the table to support businesses, support jobs and keep our economy moving.”