Following the Government of Saskatchewan’s announcement to update COVID-19 testing and measures, the official opposition is disappointed.
The provincial NDP said that the Government updated testing and measures will see the province end up like many provinces hit hard by the surging Omicron variant. COVID-19 infection rates in Saskatchewan have nearly doubled overnight, with a 10-fold increase in Omicron cases in less than two weeks.
“The Premier is determined to be the worst Premier in the country at handling COVID-19.” Health Critic Vicki Mowat said. “Instead of increasing public health measures, he’s reducing them when more are needed. He’s hiding information when more information is what’s needed.”
For Mowat, it raises the question, what makes Saskatchewan different from other provinces?
“We are the only province with no capacity limits, were vulnerable because we have the lowest vaccination rates in the country, and what makes us so special is that the Premier believes that our people won’t be impacted the same way as other provinces,” he said. ‘We’ve had weeks to be able to get ahead of Omicron, we have seen his play out in other provinces, and once again, the Premier is determined to repeat the mistakes of the first four waves.”
NDP Leader Ryan Meili said despite Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta all posting their highest daily case counts of the pandemic yesterday, the Sask. Party thinks the province will be fine with no new measures or restrictions.
“We saw the Sask. Party come out and decided that they are not going to do anything about this; in fact, they are taking steps backwards,” he said. “We had an opportunity; we saw this coming; we saw other places get hit hard. We couldn’t learn from the fourth wave; we have modelling showing what is about to happen to our ICU’s; instead, Scott Moe and Paul Merriman, they’ve decided to ignore the lessons from their own failures, ignore the lessons from around the world, and repeat those mistakes from the fourth wave and previous waves.”
Meili said if he were Premier, though he knows it might not be the popular choice, he would implement restrictions and measures to protect the people of Saskatchewan.
“We would not be decreasing the notifications of who is the hospital and who’s positive. We would not be ignoring what’s happening in the rest of the country. We would be having gathering restrictions that were brought in weeks ago to prevent the state we are in today. We certainly wouldn’t be going forward with no measures at all as a result of this new information, and we would be taking it seriously.”
“Unfortunately, this is not what Scott Moe has chosen to do, and as a result, we are going to live what we just lived a couple of months ago,” he continued. “Hospitals overwhelmed, hospitalizations on the rise, more people will lose their lives.”
Meili said though he has lost hope in the Sask. Party to make good decisions, he has hope in the people of Land of the Living Skies.
“My only remaining hope is in the people of Saskatchewan. That they will hear this message, that they will get out and get vaccinated everyone they can, that they will stay away from large gatherings, and if their business is hosting large gatherings in the next while, they will shut them down. That we will see leadership as we have throughout the pandemic from Saskatchewan because there is none from the Sask Party.”