Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili says it not the time to be focusing on a new budget, but rather on how the province is going to battle COVID-19 going forward.
Meili says that the world has changed since the budget was finalized at the end of February, and it doesn’t make sense to propose a budget during a pandemic.
“It never made sense to introduce a budget, it makes even less sense to introduce half of a budget with no revenue description,” said Meili. “This is a document that is, in so many ways, divorced from today’s reality. I think we need to stay focused on what’s right in front of us, the COVID-19 pandemic and our health and economic response.”
Meili went on to say that even discussing the budget during the pandemic was “a waste of time” and apologized to reporters for having to sit through it.
He called for a bi- partisan government approach to the financial challenges set to be created by COVID-19, adding that Saskatchewan people need to be protected.
“We need to make sure that no one during this time winds up losing their home, or getting cut off from phone service, heat, or power,” said Meili. “We need to have a utility guarantee so that no one finds themselves in that situation just because they’re unable to pay their power or phone bills, or their rent.”
Meili says he is confident that the province will get through this, if people work together.
“We know that the number of cases will continue to increase, we know that we will see community transmission soon in Saskatchewan, this is coming,” said Meili. “This will continue to be a difficult situation, but I firmly believe that through Saskatchewan people coming together, hearing each other’s stories, responding to people’s needs, we can get through this. We can do better than, maybe, anywhere else in the world.”
Meili vowed to continue to work with the government to keep the people as updated as possible.