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Saskatchewan government under fire for blocking SGI mask mandate in August

Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili has brought to light internal SGI documents that show the government blocked SGI from implementing its own mask mandate in August. . File / Global News

Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili has brought to light internal SGI documents that show the government blocked SGI from implementing its own mask mandate in August.

“When the SGI tried to bring in a masking mandate,” Meili said in a Legislative session Tuesday, “this minister (and) this premier said no.”

Read more: Masking, isolation order extended until end of November in Saskatchewan

In a heated exchange during the question period, Meili quoted communication between the Crown Investment Corporation (CIC) and SGI.

The email exchange said SGI could not put in masking requirements to protect its own staff and customers because it went against the government’s statements that there would be “no re-implementation of any restrictions or mandates.”

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“It really strikes me as a pattern where this government not only is unwilling to take the steps to protect Saskatchewan people, but if anyone else wants to do what’s right and protect their employees, they’re not allowed,” Meili said Tuesday.

Read more: Saskatchewan won’t mandate vaccines in schools or for extracurricular activities

Premier Scott Moe and the minister of health did not comment on the documents in the session, but speaking with media later said, ultimately, government entities such as SGI should be following recommendations from the government and Dr. Shahab.

“The decisions that have been made throughout the pandemic have been made with the information that’s available at that point in time,” Moe said. “Ultimately in the middle of September, the masking mandate did come.

“I wasn’t aware of the one request that did come in (from SGI) until today. I assume it was handled by CIC.”

Read more: Saskatchewan seeing COVID-19 testing business boom

Moe added that it’s well within the scope of CIC’s authority to be providing this kind of public health guidance to SGI.

“The province’s expectation is that, whether they’re a crown utility or whether they’re a ministry, they’d abide by the same recommendations and public health orders that are in place across the broader public.”

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COVID-19: After early hiccups, child vaccination booking back online in Saskatchewan

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