Sask. Opposition calls on province to take action against hospital protests
Saskatchewan's Opposition NDP says there's no reason protesters should be allowed to harass health-care workers outside hospitals.
The statement came after a group of about 40 people showed up close to a Saskatoon hospital on Monday to protest measures meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There have been similar hospital protests across Canada.
Opposition justice critic Nicole Sarauer said Tuesday that the government has the power to create safe zones around hospitals to protect health-care workers and patients.
"It could be, you know, 20 metres, 50 metres. The government has a wide swath of powers under the Public Health Act to enact orders," she said.
"At such a devastating, fragile time in your life, to have to deal with that sort of harassment is absolutely unacceptable. And the government has every ability to be able to prevent this."
Saskatchewan Justice Minister Gord Wyant put out a tweet about hospital protests on Tuesday. He said obstructing entry to a public facility like a hospital is a criminal offence. He also said he trusts law enforcement to address these kinds of violations.
My statement on the protests taking place at hospitals around Saskatchewan. <a href="https://t.co/0p8ipsPYpV">pic.twitter.com/0p8ipsPYpV</a>—@GordWyant
Premier Scott Moe shared Wyant's tweet on his own timeline.
"Not only do I denounce these actions, they are in fact an offense under the Criminal Code," Moe tweeted.
Saskatchewan's COVID-19 case numbers continue to set records for this province. On Tuesday, the government reported a new single-day record of 506 new cases. The previous record was 449 cases set on Monday.
Hospitalizations also continue to increase, with the majority of the people hospitalized not fully vaccinated. There were two patients Tuesday that were 11 years of age or younger.
Opposition Leader NDP Ryan Meili further criticized Premier Scott Moe on CBC's Saskatoon Morning Wednesday. Meili said some people are concerned that Moe is not taking action against record breaking COVID-19 numbers for political reasons.
"I certainly hope this is not the case, that Scott Moe does not want to take any action because it might fuel the PPC and cause trouble for Erin O'Toole and the Conservative party," Meili said.
Meili pointed to what he called a lack of action from Moe.
"He's been through wave two when hundreds of people died, he's been through wave three when hundreds of people died because he acted too little too late," Meili says. "Wave four comes along and his decision is to do even worse, is to decide to do absolutely nothing?"
With Files From Saskatoon Morning