Saskatchewan abolishes provincial vaccine mandate

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is ending the vaccination pass program effective February 14th, 2022. The announcement was made during a press conference where the Premier sat alongside Chief Medical Health Officer for the province Saquib Shahab.

“Don’t lose a friend or family member to this virus,” advises the Premier – stating that vaccination pass has been the source of division among Saskatchewan residents. Having meaningful conversations  around COVID-19, and respecting the decisions of others is key to the Province moving forward – continued Moe.

The program has required residents to show a proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to be granted access to businesses, entertainment venues and other establishments around the province.

The policy was unlike anything “ever done” in Saskatchewan’s history said Moe, and was something he chose to implement with hesitation.

The decision was made in part due to conversations MLA’s were having with their constituents said the Premier – he added that science was also considered in the policy amendment.

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour issued a statement reacting to the mandate ending. In the statement SFL president Lori Johb stated that “By removing proof of vaccination requirements, workers are at greater risk of contracting the virus.” The SFL is continuing to demand that all workers in the province be provided with PPE, that a 10 day  sick leave for workers is implemented provincially, and that staffing levels in Saskatchewan Schools, Hospitals, and other areas remain at safe levels.

Provincial Opposition Leader Ryan Meili does not believe that Scott Moe is making decisions based on what’s best for Saskatchewan people when it comes to COVID-19 policies. Saying he’s seeing a disturbing trend in Moe’s viewpoints aligning with former American President Donald Trump.
“Scott Moe is moving in a “Donald Trump” direction. We saw it last week when Moe said that if you do more testing you catch more cases. Very similar language to Donald Trump. Lying directly to Saskatchewan people about the efficacy of vaccines and their ability to prevent transmission. This is someone who is seeing the risk in his own party of a split between the hard right and the centre right, and he has decided to take a hard right turn. He’s going down the path of Donald trump – and this is very disturbing for the future of Saskatchewan.”
Meili believes Moe has given too much space for anti-vaxers, anti-maskers, and fringe groups. Meili would like to see Saskatchewan’s top Doc Saquib Shahab given more freedom to express his true recommendations – instead of recommendations filtered through the party.

Provincial health orders are set to expire February 28th. Premier Scott Moe says the government has no plans to extend those orders – which means that March 1st masking at indoor public spaces will end.

 

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