Saskatchewan NDP leader frustrated with Premier Scott Moe’s vaccine passport refusal

Sask NDP leader Ryan Meili. Devon Latchuk / Global News

If provincial leaders are willing to cooperate, Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau says he will help provinces pay for COVID-19 vaccination passport programs.

Trudeau adds, provinces that don’t implement a mandatory vaccination policy will suffer from a weaker economy in the long run.

“We’re not going to tell provinces what it is exactly that is right for them but we will be there to support them if they move forward with strong clear mandates that say people need to be vaccinated to do non-essential things,” said Trudeau.

Read more: How should employers mandate COVID-19 vaccines? Persuade instead of punish, experts say

Saskatchewan leader Scott Moe, however, says he is not on board with the vaccine passport plan.

NDP official opposition leader, Ryan Meili, shared his frustration in a press conference on Friday saying, with the lowest rate of vaccinations in the country, Saskatchewan’s refusal to move on some sort of vaccine mandate is frustrating.

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“The leadership on the front lines is asking the government to act to save our lives and Scott Moe and Paul Merriman have simply said no, they don’t care.”

Meili added, Saskatchewan has entered a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, making the situation even more pressing.

The NDP leader also called on the health minister to either ‘do his job or be removed.’

Read more: Air Canada’s strict new vaccine policy may lead other firms to follow: experts

“Scott Moe needs to do his job, and since we know Paul Merriman is never gonna do his, he needs to bring in a health minister who will,” said Meili.

Global News requested an interview with Premier Scott Moe to discuss the topic, but was provided this statement instead:

“At this time, the Saskatchewan government is not looking at implementing a proof of vaccination policy. The Liberal leader’s funding revealed today is a campaign commitment, not a government announcement. Given the federal election is not until September 20 and the people of Canada have yet to choose who will form government, this commitment has no impact on our decisions today.”

Read more: PHAC to hold next in-person COVID-19 briefing on Sept. 3, before election date

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The federal Conservatives have said they are not in favour of mandatory vaccination but would provide rapid testing.

The federal NDP have already said they favour vaccine passports.

Canadians will be hitting the polls on Sept. 20.

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