NDP government commits to critical interim budget measures to fight pandemic

Fifty-million-dollar urgent investment will provide critical boost to seniors’ care, schools and vulnerable populations to fight COVID-19 and prevent second wave.

Standing with the New Democratic Party candidate in Saskatoon Westview, Malik Draz, Ryan Meili committed today to introduce $50 million worth of interim fiscal measures to support front-line efforts to combat COVID-19. These measures will provide real support to everyday families worried about how to protect one another in the face of rising case numbers in the province.

“Families are looking for assurance that our loved ones in long-term care, our kids in the classroom and the most vulnerable are well cared for during the pandemic,” said Meili. “This booster budget will provide much-needed support to a system under stress and strain. We cannot wait until next year’s budget to act against the pandemic – these critical investments are needed right now.” 

Meili noted that with record numbers of new cases of COVID-19, additional investments are needed to slow the spread of the pandemic and reduce long-term impacts on people.

This interim fiscal measure would:

  • Immediately boost frontline healthcare staffing to fight COVID-19 in long-term care, with $20 million to:
    • Ensure there are more nurses and care aides to provide seniors with better care, 
    • Hire more cleaning staff to keep long-term care facilities clean and free of COVID19 and prevent the kinds of outbreaks in seniors’ care that we have seen in other provinces.
  • Target $20 million in funding to schools with the largest class sizes to:
    • Find, obtain and staff spaces close to existing schools that could be used for instructional purposes.
    • Ensure that substitute teachers are in place and ready to safely enter schools.
  • Provide $10 million in funding for community-based organizations working with the most vulnerable, particularly those suffering from addictions.

“We’re committed to having these critical commitments from our platform up and running well before Christmas. Faced with the threat of Scott Moe’s cuts, the choice for voters couldn’t be more stark,” added Meili. “Only a New Democrat government will stop Scott Moe’s cuts and invest in the critical services we need. Only a New Democrat government will put people first.”