Regina– Premier Scott Moe responded to allegations by New Democratic Leader Ryan Meili that the Saskatchewan Party had held back on measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 until after the election was over, calling them “irresponsible and false.” He also accused Meili of politicizing the COVID-19 response.
Moe said in an emailed statement, “Mr. Meili’s allegations are irresponsible and false. Our government has consistently acted on the advice of public health officials throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and I have no time for Mr. Meili’s ill-advised attempts at politicizing our response to COVID-19. These statements only serve as an insult to the professionalism of the dedicated public health officials that have provided sound guidance – guidance which is based entirely on public health considerations, not on political considerations like election timing as Mr. Meili is irresponsibly suggesting.
“Our government will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure our families remain safe and our economy remains open by continuing to act on the advice of Dr. Shahab and Saskatchewan's dedicated public health officials,” Moe concluded, referring to Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Saqib Shahab.
During a Zoom press conference the morning of Nov. 6, Meili said, “This is a government that, during the campaign, wouldn't tell us their real plans for cuts and privatization, and they didn't tell us what was really happening with COVID-19, and they didn't tell us their real plans for policy changes. Of course, they knew these numbers were coming. They had access to the public health information. They have access to the modeling that we should all have access to, but they wouldn't take any action until after the election endangering Saskatchewan people.”
Meili was asked if he was saying the Sask. Party delayed bringing in mask mandates and restrictions on certain businesses until after the election because it was politically convenient. He replied, “They knew what they were going to have to do. They knew what the numbers were doing, and they haven't actually shared the full information yet. And this is what we're asking for today.”
Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury