Sask. Party MLA resigns from caucus after misrepresenting her vaccination status
Nadine Wilson represented the Saskatchewan Rivers constituency
Saskatchewan Party MLA Nadine Wilson has resigned after misrepresenting her COVID-19 vaccination status.
Premier Scott Moe accepted Wilson's resignation from the government caucus Thursday.
Wilson, who represents the Saskatchewan Rivers constituency, is now considered an independent MLA in the legislative assembly.
She held several roles since first being elected in 2007, including most recently as deputy speaker of the legislative assembly.
A Sask. Party news release said the caucus can confirm that the remaining 47 Saskatchewan Party MLAs are fully vaccinated.
At a news conference in Saskatoon on Thursday, Premier Scott Moe said that the information came to light in the last several days, as the province moved toward its Oct. 1 proof-of-vaccination policy.
Sask. Party caucus chair David Buckingham said during the news conference that in the spring he was given verbal confirmation that all caucus members were vaccinated.
"The process was for me to find out — before the Oct. 1 deadline for vaccinations — that I would find out that all of our members are in compliance. So I asked to actually see it — a paper version of their vaccination status," Buckingham said.
"And that's when we found out that one of our members was not indeed vaccinated, and so that had to be dealt with."
In an email statement to CBC, Wilson said she no longer supports the direction of the Saskatchewan Party in regards to the current health situation and will sit as an independent member.
"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."
Following the premier's news conference Thursday afternoon, Official Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili issued a statement condemning Wilson for misrepresenting her vaccination status.
"MLA Wilson had portrayed herself to be fully vaccinated to many of our own members, putting them at risk due to her misleading assurances," said a news release.
Meili also questioned the premier's decision to announce Wilson's resignation on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
"If the Premier knew about this deception yesterday, he should have announced this at the COVID briefing, rather than taking attention away from residential school survivors whose voices deserve to be heard today," said the release.
When asked about his decision to make the announcement about the resignation today, the premier said that once the caucus found out the information about Wilson's vaccination status, they wanted to go public with it.