#LetTheKidsPlay: NDP calls for plan and programming to support kids and parents

Raising concern that kids and their caregivers have so far been neglected in the Sask. Party’s Reopen Saskatchewan plans, the Saskatchewan NDP joined concerned Regina parents in calling for a comprehensive plan for safely relaxing restrictions keeping Saskatchewan kids at home.

“The past few months have been hard on kids and hard on parents, and they both deserve a government that’s looking out for their best interests,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “As we gradually relax the restrictions that helped us flatten the curve, kids should be front and centre in our thoughts, with a dedicated plan to guide the safe relaxation of restrictions. Almost every other province has thought about this — why not Saskatchewan?” 

Specifically, the NDP is calling for a provincial plan to ensure:

  • Safe and affordable access to childcare for everyone returning to work, 
  • Access to key infrastructure like libraries and playgrounds, 
  • Clear guidelines for the reintroduction of children’s recreation programs and services like sports, art, dance, and music, 
  • Extending the SaskTel data overage at least through the end of June so kids can complete their school year without financial penalty.

Heather Woolhouse and Krista Broda are two Regina moms who share a frustration with the silence of the provincial government on a Reopen plan for Saskatchewan kids. Woolhouse wrote to the Premier on Sunday imploring the government to think of the children:

“As of June 8th I will be able to leave the house and go out to the gym, get my hair cut, get a facial, mani and pedi and a new outfit, before going out to my favourite pub with a small group of friends,” Woolhouse’s letter reads. “My children, on the other hand, can only continue to do what they have been stuck doing since March 16th (currently 76 days) — playing at home inside the house and in the backyard, and running around the local park/greenspace while staring longingly at the slide and tire swing at the park.”

Krista Broda, a mother of two, published an op ed with CBC last week calling for Phase Three of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan to include children. Yesterday, frustrated by the continued silence from the government, she took to Twitter to amplify her concerns:

“I’ve never tweeted at a politician before but @PremierScottMoe can today be the day where you say something – literally, anything – about the kids in our province? #LetTheKidsPlay.”

Education Critic Carla Beck emphasized that this is a matter of safety and long-term wellbeing for many kids and families. 

“We know that libraries, recreation programs, and schools are safe places for many at-risk and vulnerable kids, and these kids have struggled over recent weeks without access to them,” said Beck. “This government has let kids down by failing to offer a comprehensive plan to ensure their needs are being met while they are out of school, and their continued silence on this issue is incredibly damaging.”