Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said Monday's election was the most pointless in Canadian history and only succeeded in further dividing a country already straining under by pandemic.
Moe made the comments Tuesday during a news conference and on Twitter, where he blasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for calling an election only to end up with essentially the same results as two years ago.
"We also need to realize that 90 per cent of the people in this province don't want this man to be the prime minister of Canada. It is my job to represent the people of the province of Saskatchewan," a fired-up Moe told reporters.
The Conservative Party swept all 14 seats in Saskatchewan during Monday's election, a repeat of the 2019 federal election results.
"The prime minister spent over $600 million of your dollars, taxpayer dollars and five weeks further dividing the country to arrive at almost the same result that we had two months ago in the House of Commons," Moe said.
"This time and money could have been spent working to address real issues that are facing Canadians and facing Canadians that reside here in Saskatchewan, such as properly funding Canada's chronically underfunded health care system."
Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili agreed that the election was ill-timed, but said Moe's comments are an attempt to distract people from how his government has handled the pandemic.
"This is what he always does: distract, deflect and divide," Meili said.
Saskatchewan broke records for the highest daily COVID-19 cases this week when it reported 543 new cases on Sunday.
Hospitalizations also reached a new record, according to the COVID dashboard, with 262 people being treated for COVID-19 in hospital Tuesday.
"We had another five people who died today and he's playing political games," Meili said, adding that unlike Alberta's Premier Jason Kenney, Moe has refused to apologize or admit he made any mistakes in handling the pandemic.
"His important work is fighting COVID-19 and he's been completely missing in action on that," Meili said.
In his news conference, Moe took particular issue with comments Trudeau made during the campaign about vaccination rates in Saskatchewan.
During a campaign stop, Trudeau said that he felt "really bad for those people in Alberta and Saskatchewan who have stepped up to do the right thing," referring to fully-vaccinated residents.
At the time, neither Alberta nor Saskatchewan had implemented proof-of-vaccination plans. Both have since announced vaccine passport programs.
Moe said Trudeau needs to start helping boost vaccination rates in Saskatchewan, particularly in the province's north where communities often fall under federal jurisdiction.
"He has a role to play in pushing our vaccination rates up rather than going out and spouting off some very divisive comments during an election campaign," Moe said.
WATCH| Saskatchewan premier speaks to reporters about Monday's federal election