Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Ryan Meili and the NDP team have been working to put people first by taking on this unprecedented threat to our health and our economy. What we are able to do in opposition is limited, but at every opportunity we have pushed the government to do the right thing for Saskatchewan people. This crisis is far from over, and there’s still so much that’s needed.
Here is some of what we’ve been pushing for, what gains we have won, and where more pressure is needed.
Support for people
Saskatchewan’s a great place to live, but COVID-19 has left a lot of families with stress, uncertainty, and mounting bills. We need to do everything we can to support each other as we work to flatten the curve.
Front-line heroes like health care workers, grocery clerks and others need our support more than ever.
And working families can’t just sit and wait to see how this all turns out – they need real help, and they need it now.
That’s why we’ve called for:
- A moratorium on evictions
- Direct economic supports to households to cover the bills and keep families in their homes
- Increased support for seniors and people living in poverty to protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19
- A wage top-up for front-line workers
- Presumptive Workers’ Compensation Board coverage for essential workers during the pandemic
- Clear rules and supports for child care centres so that kids and families can get the care they need.
Support for Saskatchewan small businesses and jobs
Small business owners are worried. Too many have had to shut their doors, and if we don’t act quickly, many may never open them again.
Our economy is only as strong as our local businesses.
Ryan Meili and the NDP have been pushing for practical solutions to support our economy today and invest in our future tomorrow, with:
- Direct support for businesses to protect jobs and wages and keep businesses open
- Tax breaks for small and medium-sized businesses
- Putting Saskatchewan businesses and workers at the front of the line for infrastructure projects and government contracts
- Clear direction and support for businesses to safely re-open in phases, including access to protective equipment.
A proactive health response
Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili is a doctor who understands the magnitude of this crisis. He saw what was happening early, and pushed for action that helped Saskatchewan to avoid the worst as the pandemic hit.
From the very beginning Ryan and the NDP team have called for:
- Personal Protective Equipment for front-line health care workers
- Clear communication on physical distancing measures, home-made masks, and other steps people can take to stop the spread of COVID-19
- Increased testing and tracing in the community
- Making the necessary financial investments to flatten the curve and save lives.
- Transparent and timely communication to the public about where cases are found and when.
Support for the North
Saskatchewan’s North is now the largest outbreak in Canada. We need to stand with the North and work with communities to stop the spread.
That’s why we’ve called for $10 million in direct financial assistance to Northern municipalities as they struggle to address COVID-19
We all know that Saskatchewan does best when we come together to fight for each other. We’ve asked all along for an all-hands-on-deck collaborative approach.
We’ve called for things that the government has later acted on, like a moratorium on residential evictions and a wage top-up for essential workers.
But on some issues the government has not done enough: on support for the most vulnerable, on direct support for families and businesses, and on clear communication with communities about the spread of COVID 19.
We are here to do all we can to ensure the best response possible, and we have some real concerns. Where we can work together, we will. But where there are tough questions Saskatchewan families deserve real answers.
We’ve called for the Legislature to reopen in some form so that we can push for answers and action.
Help us push for a pandemic response plan that puts people first.