Meili believes MLA’s need to return to Legislature to talk about Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 situation

Provincial NDP leader Ryan Meili says MLA’s should return to the legislature for an emergency sitting to deal with the growing COVID-19 crisis in Saskatchewan.

Meili says the Premier has failed to do what he needed to do to prevent COVID-19 cases from surging, accusing him of giving up on Saskatchewan residents.

“In the middle of July, he decided the pandemic was over, and that he didn’t have to deal with it anymore. He gave up,” said Meili. “He basically dismissed the Chief Medical Health Officer, he eliminated all public health orders even though he knew that there was more to come. He gave up.”

Meili says the province’s ER’s are bursting at the seams, with some patients needing urgent non-COVID-19 care being turned away because no beds are available and that the health system is in crisis.

He says instead of hosting golf tournaments, Moe needs to bring back the Legislature to address some of these issues.

“Scott Moe’s got a lot to answer for on why he’s made the decisions he has, and why he refuses to take any action despite the calls of every expert to get the Delta wave under control,” said Meili. “Why he’s perfectly happy to let the fourth wave roll over our healthcare system, roll through this province, and take dozens and dozens of lives.”

Meili says provincial chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab recommended the province introduce an indoor mask mandate and limit access to public places for unvaccinated people, but that advice is being ignored.

He adds the division around masking and vaccines could be helped if the government was better at sharing all the information.

“A government that hides the modelling, that refuses to tell the truth about what’s really going on when they knew we’d be up at 400 cases this week, when they know that’s only going to continue to climb” said Meili. “Not telling people just how dangerous this is, downplaying and pretending it’s over, that feeds into that. If you tell the truth, then maybe more people would take it seriously.

The letter from Meili comes at the same time the Saskatchewan Health Authority announces that limited public health resources has resulted in an inability to provide timely notification to individuals who may have been exposed and are at risk thus they are asking COVID positive individuals to provide notification to their own close contacts of their positive status as part of its modified approach to contact tracing.

In an e-mail sent to 620 CKRM, Premier Scott Moe says the government  will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and respond accordingly in coordination with Dr. Shahab and our public health officials. The Legislative Assembly will reconvene at its regularly scheduled time in October.

While the number of new cases reported today in Saskatchewan is concerning, just 55 of those new cases – or about 13 per cent – were among fully vaccinated people. Most of those fully vaccinated cases will likely have only very mild symptoms, or none at all.

In other words, if everyone was fully vaccinated, the number of new cases would still be quite low and manageable, and would not be putting pressure on our health system.

The path forward is clear: get vaccinated.

More from Play92