Moe, Meili comment on potash layoffs and vacant provincial seats

Premier Scott Moe is concerned with the layoffs announced by Nutrien to its work force at their Allan, Vanscoy and Lanigan mines.

The decision was made public earlier this week after the company chose to close down the three facilities for eight weeks starting in November.

The premier talked about the importance to stay engaged with the workers in the industry and others who are affected during this difficult time for Saskatchewan residents.

He hopes it will be a short-term problem involving the “somewhat softening of demand”.

“This isn’t the first incident of this in the province, but it does speak to the need to continue to work with our industries in general and the opportunities they have to provide our products to the some hundred plus countries we deal with each and every year,” said Moe.

When asked what the government will do for the workers, Moe stated how they’ve been in discussions with the company regarding how they will work with the employees once the mines re-open.

Opposition reacts to layoffs

Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili is worried about the effect Nutrien’s layoffs will have on workers and the industry.
When asked about the announcement that will affect hundreds of workers in the province, Meili explained how the spinoffs from this decision will have a huge impact on the economy.

He said it’s something they are very concerned about.

“We hope the premier and the government will be working alongside Nutrien to help figure out how we can get those folks back to work or help support them if those jobs aren’t returning to find other employment.”

The temporary shutdown could potentially hurt up to 750 workers in the coming weeks.

No by-elections for vacant Saskatoon and Regina provincial seats

The province will not be holding two by-elections for the seats left open by former MLA’s Warren Steinley and Corey Tochor, who are now running for the federal Conservative party.

Premier Scott Moe says because we would be less than the 40 month window before the provincial election, it would not be worth while to spend the 700 thousand dollars in provincial funds to hold the by-elections.

Moe said the by-election law was made at a time before election dates were set.

“At that point in time, elections quite often would run five years in their term between elections, which is longer than this term,” Moe said. “That was the environment when this law was put in under the previous administration and we’re going to follow it.”

Moe said there are a number of other MLA’s that will step up to represent residents in these two ridings.

“The legislation was put in place to account for just these types of things, and within this time frame,” Moe said. “We will be following the legislation and we won’t be calling the by-elections.”

Opposition leader Ryan Meili says this shows fear on the provincial government’s part, as they seem afraid to lose these two seats in a by-election so close to the provincial election.

Meili said his approach to MLA’s from his party running for federal office would be different.

“Should they be successful in seeking a nomination and getting a nomination I would ask them to step down at that point.”

The last by-election was held in September of 2018, when Yens Pedersen took the seat from Regina Northeast after Kevin Doherty resigned from his seat to take a private sector job.

{Files from Ryan McNally and Moises Canales}

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