Sask NDP: Runaway COVID-19 4th wave requires emergency sitting in Legislature

SASKATOON - Today, Leader of the Official Opposition Ryan Meili wrote to Premier Scott Moe calling for an emergency sitting in the Legislative Assembly to address the growing COVID-19 crisis in Saskatchewan. 

“The Premier and his Health Minister have been missing in action all summer. The Sask. Party is ignoring the advice of Dr. Shahab, doctors and public health officials, and as a result, we have the highest death rate in the country and a 4th wave spiralling out of control,” said Meili. “Our emergency rooms are overflowing, ICUs are diverting patients, and cancer patients are being forced to go without care. This is not leadership.” 

Meili noted in his letter that Dr. Shahab recommended that the province introduce an indoor mask mandate and limit access to public places for unvaccinated people in a radio interview last week, but the Sask. Party has chosen to ignore that advice. 

“How many more voices have to be added to those calling for action, how much more damage needs to be done to our health system, how many more lives need to be lost before the premier steps up and shows leadership? We know he’s not doing the work now. What a shame that someone who should be leading has to be dragged into showing any accountability for his deadly mistakes.”

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Premier Moe: 

I write to you today to request that you immediately reconvene the Legislative Assembly for an emergency sitting to debate your government’s failure to address the 4th wave of COVID-19 in our province.  

Over the last week, Saskatchewan has led the nation in COVID-19 death rates at more than double the national average. Our emergency departments are bursting at the seams, intensive care units are diverting patients because they have no room, and patients needing urgent non-COVID-19 care are being turned away because there are no beds available. Our health system is in crisis, and you need to act.  

Your government is ignoring advice from doctors and public health experts that would reduce the pressure on our healthcare system, allow businesses to stay open, and save lives. The most blatant example of this failure in leadership is your decision to ignore Dr. Shahab’s recommendation for indoor masking and proof of vaccination – two recommendations he clearly shared in a radio interview one week ago today.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, you have played politics with public health measures, but never before have you so blatantly ignored the guidance of Dr. Shahab and public health officials. If you truly believe that your government’s management of this 4th wave has been responsible and justified, I trust you will have no hesitation reconvening the legislature to defend your government’s record on the floor of the Legislative Assembly.  

In addition to the transparency and accountability an emergency sitting of the Assembly would allow, it would also provide the opportunity to pass needed legislation to ensure everyone in our health and education systems is fully vaccinated and implement proof of vaccination requirements in public places. 

I look forward to receiving your positive response and to engaging in serious debate in the Assembly on the urgent need for action to get COVID-19 under control in our province.  

Sincerely, 

 

Ryan Meili, M.L.A. 
Leader of the Official Opposition