Pro-COVID mandate rallies held in Saskatchewan

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Pro-public health COVID mandate rallies held in Saskatchewan
There may not be anymore COVID-19 health measures currently in place in Saskatchewan, but that doesn't mean residents are feeling safe and protected from lingering pandemic risks. Taz Dhaliwal has the details on pro-public health COVID mandate rallies held in both Regina and Saskatoon Saturday afternoon. – Mar 20, 2022

Concerned citizens across Saskatchewan with a group called Take Action Against COVID or TAAC are advocating for pro-public health COVID-19 mandates to be reinstated, as the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing.

On Saturday afternoon, TAAC members voiced their frustrations in regards to what they’re calling inaction from the Saskatchewan government when it comes to continuing to protect residents — especially the most vulnerable, who may be immuno-compromised — with COVID health measures.

“At the beginning, remember when everybody was applauding health-care workers? Well now it’s shut up and go to work, and that’s acceptable,” said Judy Henley, CUPE Local 5430, Saskatchewan division president at the Regina rally in front of the legislative building.

Henley who represents public industry workers ranging from education to healthcare and municipalities, said not having any COVID restrictions in place will only further harm the state of public healthcare in the province.

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“We have a staffing crisis in healthcare that is absolutely crazy. People are working day in and day out to take care of those in long-term care, in acute and everywhere,” Henley said.

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Organizers say there were many supporters who were unable to attend the rallies due to their precarious health situation or that of a close family member’s.

“The premier has tried to tell us … it’s time to learn to live with the virus. Or for individuals or families to manage their own risk. But all of the tools we could have used to do that are being yanked away from us,” said Robb Butz, TAAC organizer, who was at the rally in Saskatoon.

TAAC members and supporters are asking for COVID numbers to be reported daily, access to testing for the public at large and indoor masking mandates to be implemented once again, along with mandatory sick days.

“Basically it’s kind of like survival of the fittest that everybody has to sort out, manage their risk as if we were all able to enter that in the same conditions, as if they’re weren’t already inequities in place,” said Manuela Vallecastro, a TAAC member also at the protest in Saskatoon.

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Things got heated at the rally in Saskatoon when so called “freedom convoy” protestors showed up. There was some pushing between the two groups at one point and police were called.

Shortly after both crowds dispersed.

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