Premier Scott Moe says he will not be loaning Saskatchewan health care workers to Ontario.
The statement comes after a formal request on Friday morning from Ontario Premier Doug Ford to other provinces and territories to aid in Ontario’s health care system as it combats a third wave of COVID-19.
Following Friday’s question period at the Saskatchewan Legislative Building, Moe said he and Premier Ford have spoken a few times recently regarding issues in their respective jurisdictions including vaccination rates and health care capacities. Moe said he conveyed to Ford that the province does not have the capacity to send health care workers out to other provinces.
“They’re quite busy putting the priorities of Saskatchewan residents first and foremost,” explained the premier. “We just don’t have the capacity to even start talking about loaning our health care workers out for a period of time.”
In response, NDP Leader Ryan Meili said Premier Moe’s choices and failures to prevent the third wave in Saskatchewan means they are not in a position to help out other areas of the country.
“I don’t see why we would divert them away from this province – where we have a real problem – to somewhere else,” Meili stated. “I would love to be able to say another province could have some vaccines or another province we’d be willing to send our health care workers to. But we are in no position to do so.”
Ontario’s formal request includes 500 nurses, 100 respiratory therapists, ten perfusionists and ten anesthesia assistants.