NDP demands independent inquiry into the Sask. Party’s handling of the pandemic

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.”

Ombudsman’s investigation highlights need for more staff and legislated standards in long-term care

REGINA - Official Opposition Critic for Seniors Matt Love was joined by Rose Botting today to call for systemic changes to the province’s long-term care system following a critical incident in Long-term Care that led to her mother’s death.  An Ombudsman's investigation released in August into the death of Botting’s mother, Frances Sander, underscored lapses in quality of care as well as inadequate processes in critical incident investigations.

“The SHA and Ministry of Health need to pay better attention to what is taking place in our long-term care facilities,” asserted Botting. “This is a systemic issue that impacts many, many seniors, and families. It is not going to get better without proper oversight, and changes to staffing and supervision.”

COVID mismanagement strains already insufficient mental health and addictions supports

REGINA - Today, Lac La Ronge Indian Band Councillor Devin Bernatchez joined the Official Opposition at the Legislature to call attention to how the COVID-19 pandemic is making Saskatchewan’s ongoing suicide, mental health, and addictions crises worse.

“I would like to invite the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions to come to the North and visit Sucker River to see with his own eyes the challenges and struggles that people in my community are facing,” Bernatchez offered. “Losing my cousin 5 weeks ago to suicide was yet another painful reminder for our communities of the tragic losses that are compounded by the shortage of mental health and addictions resources, particularly in Northern Saskatchewan.”

SHA CEO’s sudden departure leaves many unanswered questions

REGINA - In light of the announcement of Scott Livingstone’s departure from his role as CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, many questions still remain unanswered regarding the reasons behind the sudden resignation and why the news was not shared with the public for well over a week.

“The circumstances around this departure are highly unusual and the people of this province deserve answers from this Sask. Party government,” said Ryan Meili, Leader of the Official Opposition. “This isn’t a simple staffing matter, as the Premier has characterized it. This is the sudden loss of the Chief Executive Officer of our health authority, while we’re still in the throes of a pandemic, with no succession plan or warning. It raises some very serious questions around this government’s role in that departure.”

Saskatchewan last in the nation on pandemic job recovery

REGINA - New jobs numbers for November released by Statistics Canada show that Saskatchewan is once again trailing the nation when it comes to pandemic job recovery.

“We’re one of only two provinces that still hasn’t recovered all the jobs lost during the pandemic and yet we have a Sask. Party Jobs Minister who’s at risk of injury from patting himself on the back too hard,” said Aleana Young, Opposition Critic for Jobs and the Economy. “The only number in this report the government can point to is the unemployment rate, and that’s only dropped because since September there are almost 13,000 fewer people in the labour force.”