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Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe says COVID-19 shutdowns are not necessary

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Saskatchewan might implement ‘industry-specific’ restrictions if COVID-19 cases continue increasing' Coronavirus: Saskatchewan might implement ‘industry-specific’ restrictions if COVID-19 cases continue increasing
When asked about the potential to further implement stricter health measures in the province during Friday's coronavirus update, Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab responded that if case numbers continue to increase, "we will have to look at further specific measures." These measures may be "sector-specific" so problematic areas are only shut down rather than the province's whole economy, if it comes to it – Oct 23, 2020

Saskatchewan can avert sector-wide shutdowns as it continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe asserted Saturday as new daily case figures in the province reached an all-time high.

Moe’s comments came on Saturday shortly before the province reported 78 new cases of the virus, a new single-day peak.

Read more: Mask use could cut COVID-19 transmission in Saskatchewan by 50%: Shahab

Moe spent Saturday, the second last day of the election race, campaigning in Moose Jaw, Regina and Saskatoon ahead of Monday’s vote.

Despite the recent spike in COVID-19 numbers, Moe said he believed health officials could curb the spread of the virus without closing the doors to a slew of businesses and activities.

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“We will not have to have an economy-wide shutdown. We understand the virus much better,” Moe said during a stop in Regina Walsh Acres, one of the battleground constituencies where his party is in a tight race with the provincial NDP.

Read more: Saskatchewan will shut down parts of economy should daily COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Moe said officials would fine people who flout public health advice.

Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili also campaigned in Regina and surrounding areas during his final election push.

“There still are folks who make up their mind in these last couple days,” he said Saturday, the day after the party hosted a drive-in rally.

“The most important thing is that the people who’ve seen this campaign, that are excited, that see the choice before them, actually make that choice at the ballot box.”

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Saskatchewan restaurants, hotels prepare for pandemic winter – Oct 23, 2020

Meili has spent the campaign telling voters that reelecting the Saskatchewan Party to a fourth term in government will lead to service cuts, citing Moe’s promise to eliminate the province’s $2.1 billion deficit by 2024-25.

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Meili said the NDP would fix issues like crowding in classrooms and long waits for medical procedures by spending millions to hire more teachers and health-care workers.

Moe has said he would not increase taxes or make major cuts through government if he’s sent back to the premier’s office after Monday’s vote.

Read more: Saskatchewan election tracker 2020: Here’s what the parties are promising

He has framed the election’s key ballot question around who voters trust to recover the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.

While both party leaders disagree on policy, they encouraged their supporters to vote Saturday in the last day of advance polling.

Elections Saskatchewan said more than 119,000 people voted early over the first three days, more than in the past ten general elections.

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Saskatchewan businesses continue to struggle amid pandemic pressure – Oct 22, 2020