Meili calls for COVID-19 plan that puts people first

Ahead of the release of Premier Moe’s “Re-open Saskatchewan” plan, NDP Leader Ryan Meili issued the following statement:

Saskatchewan people have stepped up to protect each other through this pandemic. We’ve shown incredible spirit. We’ve shown what Saskatchewan is made of. And it’s working. Our COVID-19 case numbers are among the lowest in the country.

We all want to get back to normal life. These last few weeks have been hard on so many people. Kids home from school, but not able to visit their friends and grandparents. People off work and wondering how they’ll pay the bills. Business owners who had to close their doors wondering whether they’ll be able to open them again.

But we first need to make sure that the steps forward are safe steps. That our healthcare system is ready, with protective equipment, with testing, with enough capacity to respond to new cases. And we need to make sure the supports are in place for workers, for families and for the most vulnerable in our province.

We’ve stepped up – now we need our government to step up, to put Saskatchewan people first.

This crisis has revealed how vulnerable we are when we don’t build up Saskatchewan. When we cut health and long-term care. When we don’t prioritize Saskatchewan jobs.

It’s time to introduce Sask-First policies, so that when we build our schools, our highways, and our hospitals, we build them with our companies and our workers.

Now is the time to put our Crown corporations to work, and put Saskatchewan people to work for our Crowns, building rural high-speed internet and renewable energy.

Now is the time to re-invest in frontline care, expand home care, and properly staff long-term care.

And now is the time to make sure that we don’t leave Saskatchewan workers with the lowest minimum wage in Canada any longer. They deserve a decent living for the essential work they do.

Now more than ever, Saskatchewan people need to stand together and lift each other up. And we need a government that will help us do that, for today and for the future.

The only way through this is together – and that is where Saskatchewan people excel. Together, we will stay healthy, we will stay safe and we will stay ready to fight the pandemic, fight for our economic recovery – and fight for each other.