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.”

NDP: Expand booster shot eligibility to protect from Omicron and prevent 5th wave

SASKATOON - In light of the risks posed by the Omicron variant and the risk of a fifth wave, Official Opposition Leader Ryan Meili will be calling for a plan to expand availability of COVID-19 booster shots for Saskatchewan residents eighteen and over.

“With this new variant and a fifth wave on the horizon, now is the time to be proactive. The SHA has already warned that it's not a matter of if but a matter of when Saskatchewan will go through a fifth wave” said Meili. "This government has so far refused to learn from the previous waves, instead choosing to play politics and pander instead of listening to the advice of experts. We can’t afford to let the Sask. Party get this wrong again.”

NDP: Chronic short-staffing in healthcare has been made worse by the pandemic

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Deputy Leader Nicole Sarauer introduced local healthcare workers from Regina, Broadview, and Yorkton calling on the Sask. Party government to address the issue of chronic short-staffing in Saskatchewan healthcare - an issue long before COVID - and develop a comprehensive health staffing strategy to deal with the issue of retention and recruitment. 

Duncan memos show ongoing interference in local COVID-19 safety measures

REGINA - Today, the NDP Official Opposition released two internal memos written by Minister of Education Dustin Duncan showcasing the extent to which the Minister interfered with local municipal health decisions. These memos contradict the public statements made by the Minister and caused immense confusion for school boards trying to work with their local medical health officers to ensure the health and safety of their students and staff.

“These memos show just how far the Minister has been willing to go to interfere in local health decision-making. Common sense and health policy aren’t dictating these decisions, it’s the Minister’s own politics,” said Carla Beck, Opposition Critic for Education. “It is unfathomable that this Minister would direct school boards to ignore local medical health orders, even in cases where schools in active COVID outbreak are hosting an extracurricular event.”

NDP: Premier needs to apologize to health workers for fourth wave failures

REGINA - Today, Official Opposition Leader Ryan Meili was joined by Carolyn Brost Strom, a public health nurse from Prince Albert to discuss the intense stress and burnout to frontline health workers caused by short-staffing and the Premier’s failures to contain the fourth wave. Brost Strom joined the Sask. NDP in condemning the last-minute decision to no longer allow kids to be vaccinated in schools unless a parent is in attendance which risks reduced vaccine uptake and delays protection to kids now eligible for their vaccines.