Saskatchewan NDP criticizes opponents for referring to COVID-19 in past tense

REGINA — Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili is criticizing his opponents in the Oct. 26 election of speaking of COVID-19 in the past tense.

Meili says in a news release Monday that the first page of the Saskatchewan Party's election platform says, "We faced the pandemic — together."

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Meili says COVID-19 is not over — not in Canada, and not in Saskatchewan.

The NDP says its investments in health care and reducing classroom sizes will bolster the province’s fight against COVID-19, while noting that Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party were proposing dangerous cuts in the midst of a pandemic.

Moe last week characterized the NDP as reckless spenders with no credible plan to deal with the deficit.

In a statement Monday, Moe urged increased vigilance in light of a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the province.

"We have seen our case numbers rise on a number of occasions over the past few months and every time, Saskatchewan people have been able to bring those numbers back down again through our collective efforts," Moe said in the statement.

Saskatchewan recorded 48 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, however, only eight people are currently hospitalized and just one is in intensive care.

A day earlier, the province reported that at least a dozen of the new cases that day were associated with a series of Full Gospel Outreach church events in Prince Albert from Sept. 14 to Oct. 4.

The daily COVID-19 update from the province on Sunday also noted that over the weekend, a $14,000 fine was issued to a corporation for non-compliance with the Public Health Act Order and Re-Open Saskatchewan guidelines for places of worship.

The update did not name the corporation that was fined, and the province has not responded to questions about the fine.

Meili said in Monday's news release that the NDP will fight COVID-19 with measures such as reducing class sizes and ending short-staffing in primary, acute and long-term care.

"Scott Moe and the Sask. Party have a history of cutting the services that the people of Saskatchewan rely on – particularly the most vulnerable, including our kids and grandparents," he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 12, 2020.

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