'We need to stay the course': Nurses' union opposes Moe’s plans to reopen Sask. businesses
SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) wants Premier Scott Moe to reconsider plans to reopen businesses.
On Monday, Moe said the province is working on a “reopen Saskatchewan” plan.
“Now is not the time to loosen the reins. We need to stay the course,” Tracy Zambory, president of SUN, told CTV News.
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Zambory worries if businesses start to reopen, people won’t take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.
“As registered nurses, we fear that if the premier is talking about reopening, people will get a bit too relaxed on all the very important rules that are in place right now,” she said.
Moe said when businesses reopen it would be done gradually and businesses would still have to adhere to physical distancing rules – as grocery stores are doing.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement on Wednesday conflicted with the premier’s message.
“Over the past days, people are talking about 'oh, we'll re-open this. We'll do this. We'll reopen that.' It's not happening yet,” Trudeau said.
“If we reopen too soon, everything we’re doing now might be for nothing.”
While Trudeau and Moe don’t seem to see eye-to-eye on reopening, the province said it’s their decision as restrictions have been imposed under Saskatchewan’s Emergency Planning Act.
“The federal government has no authority or jurisdiction under provincial legislation,” a spokesperson for the province said.
The premier didn’t provide a clear timeline of when restrictions would be lifted, but said officials would have to see low and steady case numbers.
COVID-19 recoveries continuously exceed new cases in Saskatchewan.
“Over two-thirds of the people who have contracted COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, they have fully recovered … This is reason for us to have some very cautious optimism,” Moe told reporters in Wednesday’s press conference.
Moe said restrictions around travel, long-term care home visits and large gatherings would be the last to be lifted.
When asked about Regina’s Grey Cup plans, Moe said it was too early for those discussions to begin.