Meili wants Sask. Legislature to reconvene for ‘democratic oversight’

Following the unveiling of Saskatchewan’s plan to reopen the economy in the coming weeks, Sask. NDP leader Ryan Meili is now calling for the Saskatchewan Legislature to reconvene.

The official opposition leader shared in his Friday afternoon statement that there needs to be some form of “democratic oversight” in order to hold Premier Scott Moe and the government accountable during the pandemic.

Meili said they are happy to work with the premier and his team to come up with a way that respects physical distancing in the legislature.

“It is time, as we’re having such major decisions being made, for accountability in the province,” stated the NDP leader.

“We have an outbreak in La Loche and we know local outbreaks don’t stay local. At the same time, we have a document that has a whole chapter on golf courses but doesn’t mention First Nations and Métis communities or the north at all.”

Meili admitted the plan does have its strengths. He noted his satisfaction with the province’s guidelines and protocols for businesses preparing to open as restrictions are lifted.

However in a release sent out by the Sask. NDP on Friday, Meili shared four questions he would like the premier to answer regarding health care readiness if there is a possible surge, child care supports for people who return to work and business supports for owners and staff who are planning to reopen their doors.

He said those questions need answers and that Premier Moe needs to start providing after previous offers from the NDP to establish a task force or to reconvene the legislature were refused or dismissed.

“We’re frustrated by that. There’s a responsibility on the government to make sure the work of the legislature continues, to make sure their plans face due diligence. Thus far, we see no interest in doing so.”

One of Meili’s biggest worries has to do with Premier Scott Moe saying on Friday’s episode of the CBC Morning Edition that residents can immediately start visiting friends and family.

Meili voiced his concerns about the government’s plan not offering clear guidelines for how to do this safely and how it applies to senior citizens.

“It was a very big change. He’s making this major change and recommendation kind of on the fly here,” he said. “I question the evidence and I question the message that sends.”

Meili added that the pandemic is not over and that answers are needed for these questions if the province wants to avoid serious consequences down the road.

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