It was a rather unusual spring session at the Saskatchewan Legislature this year with plexiglass dividers on desks and MLAs wearing masks during debates.
The main focus of question period sessions this spring revolved around COVID-19, with the NDP challenging the Sask. Party government on its handling of the pandemic so far.
Premier Scott Moe says they have been very transparent with the decisions they have made as government.
“If anyone is wondering, those decisions have been made in a very collaborative fashion between the government, Dr. Shahab, and public health office,” said Moe. “And made the very best decisions that we can with the information that is provided to us at that time.
Moe said the government has been working hard to make themselves accountable during the pandemic.
He admits it has been tough to work at the legislature while being away from loved ones over a long period of time.
“I’ve been down here significantly longer than 6 weeks without being home, and I won’t discount the fact that it’s been very challenging,” said Moe. “It pales in comparison, I think, in fairness to what so many other Saskatchewan people have had to do in order to keep themselves, and those around them safe.”
Moe added that his challenges pale in comparison to what many of his colleagues have had to endure these last few weeks, whether it was being away from their children or losing family members throughout the pandemic.
NDP Leader Ryan Meili things looked different in the house this spring, but he and his colleagues were able to adapt to the challenges presented to them.
He says what was on his mind the most during his time at the legislative building was COVID-19 itself.
“It does make me quite angry to see the way that this government failed to react to the second or third waves, failed to listen to the modelling, and the scientific advice they had,” said Meili. “As a result, they have caused great damage.”
Meili says people cannot forget what happened and that we learn the lessons of COVID-19 in order to make things better for the future.
“Just over three years now until an election, and there’s work to do there,” said Meili. “What you’re going to see very soon is more of our long-term plan for how we, over the next couple of years, are going to be reaching out to Saskatchewan people, and hearing what they care most about.”
Meili noted his party will remain active in the summer months to keep the government accountable.