Premier gives state of province address

Premier Scott Moe told those at his State of the Province Address that we’re currently living through history with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moe touched on how his government is opposed to implementing further public health measure. Moe says since the majority of the provincial population is vaccinated, he doesn’t want to see their freedoms taken away. “That large proportion of people that are vaccinated is why we’ve resisted calls from many to impose more widespread restrictions.”

Moe went on to say that his government believes it’s not right and fair to impose seeping measures like lockdowns when the vast majority have gone out and done the right thing by getting their shots.

When speaking with reporters after his speech, the premier admitted that health measures should have been re-introduced sooner. On September 17th, the province brought back the mandatory masking mandate and introduced a proof of vaccination requirement that into effect back on October 1st.

The premier also said the province is working to expand the number of critical care nurses in the province with 60 to 70 completing training in the coming weeks. Currently Moe says there 480 nurses working in Saskatchewan ICUs plus the six military critical nurses who have been deployed to Saskatchewan hospitals.

When on stage during his speech, Moe did take the time to thanks health care and those have been on the front lines for the duration of the pandemic.

Saskatchewan’s premier touched on positive economic trends in the province such as canola crushing. Over a billion dollars has been invested into the province’s canola crushing industry.

Premier Moe says facilities are being built across the province. “Viterra and Gargill are building new facilities in the Regina area, a total investment north of a billion dollars in those two facilities. Meanwhile if you go southeast of there to the Ceres facility at Northgate, just southeast of Estevan, an addition 350 million dollars being invested in another canola crush facility there.”

Moe added that Richardson International’s Yorkton facility is doubling their capacity.

Moe says the province is going to meet the goal set out a couple of years ago in the growth plan to have 75 per cent of Saskatchewan’s canola crushed in the province.

In closing, Premier Moe says the world is starting to rev its economic engine and Saskatchewan has precisely what it wants.

The leader of the opposition Ryan Meili responded that the state of address ignored the health crisis in the province, pointing out that the province has the highest active case rate and lowest vaccination rate in the country. He also noted that 117 people in Saskatchewan died due to COVID-19 in the province in the month of October.

He also called Monday’s state of the address a slap in the face of Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Shahab, along with the families that lost someone due to COVID-19. The NDP leader says that the Premier should be announcing gathering limits, more healthcare support and a new Health Minister to replace Paul Merriman.

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