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Ottawa convoy protest organizer praises Scott Moe's 'leadership'


One of the key organizers of a protest convoy that has caused gridlock in the nation's capital is praising Saskatchewan's premier.

"Premier Scott Moe of Saskatchewan has taken leadership in Canada in ending restrictions and mandates in that province," Tamara Lich said, during news conference on Thursday.

Until recently, Lich served on the Maverick Party board of directors — a party that emerged from the "Wexit" western separatist movement.

Lich, who lives in Medicine Hat, Alta. has been at the forefront of the "Freedom Convoy" since it started and is one of the organizers behind a GoFundMe for the protest that has so far raised over $10 million.

Her comments came after Moe shared a video on social media Wednesday evening where he mused about ending COVID-19 public health measures.

"It's time for us to have an honest conversation about COVID and our path forward," Moe said.

"This perpetual state of crisis is having a harmful impact on everyone."

In her prepared remarks, Lich said "hopefully these words will turn into long lasting action."

Moe's video came less than a week after his Jan. 29 letter in support of the convoy, where he first signaled his government would end its proof of COVID-19 vaccination policy "in the not-too-distant future." In the letter, Moe also claimed that while he supports vaccination, it is "not reducing transmission."

Saskatchewan's current COVID-19 public health order, which requires proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result in some settings and masking in public places, is set to expire Feb. 28.

On Thursday, the province announced it would no longer offer laboratory COVID-19 testing to individuals who don't meet "at risk" criteria and public reporting of case information would move to a weekly schedule.

Saskatchewan NDP opposition leader Ryan Meili accused Moe of putting politics in the driver's seat when it comes to his approach to the pandemic.

"Yesterday, we watched Erin O'Toole lose his job and he is so afraid of the same thing happening to himself that he's willing to cave to the worst elements of his own party," Meili said, referencing Wednesday's ousting of the federal Conservative leader.

"This is at a time when we are still heading towards our peak of hospitalizations, where we are still in what doctors have described as the toughest wave of the of the pandemic."

Meili made the comments during a Zoom call with reporters which followed the province's announced changes to testing and COVID-19 data reporting.

As of Thursday afternoon there were 10,271 known active COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan.

Many more cases are likely unreported due to the province's shift to rapid at-home testing as the primary means to detect COVID-19.

There were 347 people in hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 36 in intensive care. Top Stories

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