Emotional Premier Moe talks 'most difficult' pandemic decisions in Sask.
Scott Moe chokes back tears as he recalls move to lock-down care homes
Premier Scott Moe struggled against tears in the Saskatchewan legislature on Wednesday as he looked back at some of the steps his government has taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 — including locking down long-term care homes for five months until they were gradually reopened to visitors late last month.
"Think of our grandparents not being able to see their grandkids," Moe said, adding that the decision to bar general visitation was "probably one of the most difficult decisions that I was involved in."
Sighing deeply, his voice crumbling, the premier went on.
"We had families across this province who weren't able to see their loved ones for months — most certainly an important and necessary decision to keep our family members safe from this awful virus," he said.
WATCH | Premier Moe gets emotional in the Saskatchewan legislature
MLAs are in the home stretch of a marathon six-week session of the legislature, one that has been dominated by bitter debate over the Saskatchewan government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 500 Saskatchewan residents.
"One fatality is tragic to any family," Moe said in reference to the province's worst outbreak in a long-term care home, at the privately-owned Extendicare home in Regina. "These aren't numbers. These are family members."
Ryan Meili, the leader of the Saskatchewan NDP and Moe's most vociferous critic in the legislature, acknowledged the shift in Moe's temperament Wednesday.
"[He] showed some emotion and I share that emotion," Meili said.
Meili also thanked other MLAs for reaching out to him when his father was recently sick in the hospital.
"We were at a moment where we thought my kids might never see their grandpa at all. But we know many families have had experiences exactly like that," Meili said.