Sask. introduces legislation to strengthen emergency planning laws in response to COVID-19

If you are found in non-compliance to emergency orders issued by the government, expect a fine that is much larger than what it was.

The government introduced legislation will see a maximum fine of $7,500 for an individual that does not comply with the order while for corporations, the maximum fine will be $100,000. The maximum fines had been set at $2,000 and $10,000

Justice Minister Gordon Wyant said the amendments are mostly happpening in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic and that the message to be compliant is now one to be taken seriously.

“You have heard Dr. Shahab says on a number of occasions that the time for education is over.” Wyant said. “We want to make sure we send a strong signal to the people of Saskatchewan, especially those who would ignore our public health orders about the seriousness and the ramifications of breaching public health orders.

The timing of the legislation confuses NDP leader Ryan Meili.  While the legislation was introduced on the final day of a short two-week sitting of the Legislature, it means it won’t be passed until MLA’s return in the spring.  Meili says if this is a COVID-19 measure, it is about as effective as him wearing a mask under his chin.

Wyant says they didn’t get full consultation with those that they wanted to speak with because of the short session so those talks will continue with the formal bill coming in the spring when MLA’s return to work.

Ontario and BC have recently passed similar laws.


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