Meili: Saskatchewan must invest now to fight COVID-19

Saskatchewan New Democrats have laid out a plan to put people first by investing in healthcare and reducing classroom sizes. These investments will bolster the province’s fight against COVID-19, even as Scott Moe has ignored the concerns of ordinary families and proposed more dangerous cuts in the midst of a pandemic.

"COVID-19 has made it all the more clear how dangerous cuts to healthcare and education can be," said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. "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." 

Meili noted that the first page of the Sask. Party’s election platform speaks of COVID-19 in the past tense: “We faced the pandemic – together.” COVID-19 is not over – not in Canada, and not in Saskatchewan.

Scott Moe was asked five times at his platform launch to clarify whether he would cut services or raise taxes if Saskatchewan's recovery was to fall short due to circumstances such as an increase in COVID-19 cases. He refused to answer the question.

"Let’s be clear: the pandemic is not over. Saskatchewan families are still fighting COVID-19 together and keeping each other safe. New Democrats believe our government should do the same," said Meili. "That’s why we have a plan to support families and ensure that everyone can access the healthcare they need, while Scott Moe is focused on deep cuts that will damage our healthcare and choke off our economic recovery.”

By their own estimates, the Sask. Party’s platform contains $66 million in cuts in the first year.

Ryan Meili has a different plan. Saskatchewan New Democrats have committed to: 

  • Making sure that families get the care they need, including seniors in our long-term care facilities, with a $100 million investment to end short-staffing in primary, acute and long-term care.
  • Reducing class sizes, making schools safer by hiring more teachers, EAs and caretakers with a $125 million investment.
  • Creating 8,800 new childcare spaces to increase access for working families in this critical time, and making childcare more affordable with $25/day childcare.
  • Making our healthcare facilities and schools safer by increasing spending by 50 percent to begin clearing the $5 billion deferred maintenance backlog.