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COVID-19: Saskatchewan MLA resigns for ‘misrepresenting vaccination status’

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COVID-19: Saskatchewan MLA resigns for ‘misrepresenting vaccination status’
WATCH: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said on Thursday that he accepted the resignation of Saskatchewan Rivers MLA Nadine Wilson from government caucus. Moe said her resignation was offered “as a result of misrepresenting her vaccination status.” Caucus Chair David Buckingham added that all 47 caucus members are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – Sep 30, 2021

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has accepted the resignation of Saskatchewan Rivers MLA Nadine Wilson from government caucus.

Read more: Assault charges against Saskatchewan MLA withdrawn

According to a press release from the Saskatchewan Party caucus, the premier said Wilson offered her resignation “as a result of misrepresenting her vaccination status.”

“The government caucus has confirmed that all 47 remaining Saskatchewan Party MLAs are fully vaccinated.”

At a press conference held Thursday after the announcement, Moe was questioned why the party made the announcement on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

“We wanted to go public with (that information) as soon as possible,” Moe responded.

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Saskatchewan government caucus chair David Buckingham said last spring he was given information that “maybe was misrepresented a wee bit.”

Buckingham said in spring he verbally asked for everyone to declare their status.

Read more: Regina Public school board passes motion to develop proof-of-vaccination policy for staff

As Oct. 1 approaches, the caucus is in the process of verifying that all their members are in compliance.

“That’s when we found out that one of our members was indeed not vaccinated,” Buckingham said. “That had to be dealt with. That’s not acceptable.”

If Wilson chooses to remain as an independent MLA, she will need to either show proof of vaccination or negative test to enter the legislative building.

A stream of legislative assembly on May 14 shows Wilson wearing a “Stick it to COVID” vaccination sticker.

MLA Nadine Wilson shown behind MLA Jeremy Harrison wearing a ‘Stick it to COVID’ sticker. Screen Capture / Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly livestream, May 14

In a statement shared with Global News, Wilson said she will sit as an independent member.

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“I can no longer support the direction of the Saskatchewan Party government or follow the government with true conviction regarding the current health situation,” Wilson said.

Wilson credited her “desire for a just and fair democratic province” for leading to her decision to continue as MLA.

“I have taken time to listen to the people in my riding and reflect on my role as an elected official and citizen. I was elected by the people, for the people, in the Saskatchewan Rivers constituency. I will continue to work for them to the best of my abilities. I believe in the fundamental values of freedom of personal choice, voluntary informed consent, without the element of duress or coercion,” Wilson added.

Official opposition leader Ryan Meili also called into question why Wilson’s vaccination status was shared on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in a press release.

“Why the Premier has chosen this day, a day where we should be reflecting on the harmful legacy of the residential school system and elevating Indigenous voices, to announce the resignation of one of his MLAs and that he is finally calling for staffing support from the federal government is deeply disappointing,” Meili said in a statement.

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Saskatchewan premier speaks with Trudeau about increasing COVID-19 vaccine rates

Meili said the NDP is disappointed and frustrated with the news that Wilson has not been fully vaccinated.

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“MLA Wilson had portrayed herself to be fully vaccinated to many of our own members, putting them at risk due to her misleading assurances,” Meili said.

Wilson was first elected MLA in Saskatchewan Rivers in the 2007 provincial election and re-elected in 2011, 2016 and 2020.

Click to play video: 'Moe accepts resignation of Saskatchewan MLA for ‘misrepresenting’ COVID-19 vaccination status'
Moe accepts resignation of Saskatchewan MLA for ‘misrepresenting’ COVID-19 vaccination status

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