REGINA – Over the weekend, Sask. Party MLAs voted against stronger fines for organizers breaking provincial health orders around mass gatherings.
On Saturday, May 1, Official Opposition Deputy Leader Nicole Sarauer moved amendments to Bill 23 - The Emergency Planning Amendment Act. These amendments proposed a specific offense for organizing a protest in contravention of public health measures with a fine of not less than $10,000. On Friday, April 20, Sarauer wrote the government to inform them of her intent to introduce these amendments.
“Recent developments have made it clear that the current penalties for violating public health orders are not providing sufficient deterrence, especially for those who are brazenly organizing these demonstrations,” said Sarauer. “Events like these set off a chain reaction of sickness, hospitalizations and death across the province.”
The Sask. Party government is well aware that the events are being ‘organized by a small, consistent group’ who continue to put public health at risk. Despite pleas from Saskatchewan officials and COVID patients for stronger enforcement, it has become clear that serious penalties are of no interest to the Sask Party.
“Creating serious implications to public health should result in serious consequences,” said Sarauer, citing twenty-seven tickets issued in Nova Scotia over the weekend. “Organizing mass demonstrations like the ones we have seen across our province put us all at risk.”