NDP Leader Ryan Meili issued the following statement in response to today’s case count numbers:
NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat joined Marea Olafson, a teacher living near Wynyard who has become an advocate for her grandmother, to raise concerns about how understaffing in long-term care is putting residents at elevated risk during a pandemic.
“Understaffing of long-term care is a serious problem in Saskatchewan, as Marea’s grandmother has experienced these past months,” said Mowat. “We know that frontline care workers are working incredibly hard under difficult circumstances and understaffing by this government is putting them in impossible situations. Especially during a pandemic, we need urgent action to address that understaffing, for the safety of residents, of staff, and of families.”
Raising concerns about the timeline that preceded a quarter-of-a-million-dollar partnership between WE Charity and the Ministry of Education, the Saskatchewan NDP is calling on Premier Moe to proactively release his correspondence with the Conflict of Interest Commissioner regarding his recent trip to Kenya with the organization’s founder, Craig Kielburger. The Premier met with Mr. Kielburger on two separate occasions last fall, and the Premier indicated yesterday that a contract with his organization was already under consideration at that time.
“The Premier said yesterday that he’d discussed a possible WE contract with the Minister of Education as early as last summer or fall, but maintains that there was no conflict of interest in his Kielburger visit to Kenya because it was cleared by the conflict of interest commissioner,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck. “Did the Premier inform the Commissioner that he and the Education Minister had discussed a programming partnership with the charity that Moe was travelling with? If there’s nothing to hide this should be simple: the Premier should proactively release his communication with the Commissioner on this issue.”
The Saskatchewan NDP is raising questions about the Sask. Party’s $260,000 non-competitive contract with WE Charity to “promote student well-being” in schools. Just this winter, the Premier and his wife traveled to Kenya as guests of Craig Kielburger, the WE Charity founder embroiled in an ongoing scandal along with Prime Minister Trudeau.
“The timeline of events raises serious questions about the propriety and value of this contract,” said NDP Education Critic Carla Beck. “Who made the decision to hand WE Charity this contract, what is it intended to deliver for Saskatchewan students, and why did the Sask. Party choose a Trudeau-linked, Toronto-based charity to develop materials for our schools instead of actually addressing the understaffing and under-resourcing they’ve caused?”
Saskatchewan NDP Leader Dr. Ryan Meili is demanding that Minister of Health Jim Reiter answer for the lack of public communication about the spike in COVID-19 cases in the last 72 hours in Saskatchewan.
“Active cases more than doubled, from 43 to 90, over three days, without a peep from the Government. The lack of communication coming from this Health Minister is unacceptable,” said Meili. “Saskatchewan families have done what the government and health officials have asked them to do, at real personal and financial cost. Their efforts have worked to flatten the curve. But for that to continue, the Minister of Health has to be honest and timely with information about the pandemic.”
NDP Leader Ryan Meili was joined by Sue Delanoy who has been waiting over two years for double hip surgery, to call on the province to address the growing backlog of surgeries in the province by providing adequate funding.
“Even before the crisis hit, people were waiting too long,” said Meili. “And COVID-19 had a drastic impact on the number of surgeries being performed in the province – almost 11,000 fewer than the year before. Now, with wait lists longer than ever and over 26,000 patients on the list, the Sask. Party government has done nothing new to add more resources to the health system to bring wait lists down. The Sask. Party’s budget completely missed the mark and just leaves Saskatchewan people waiting.”