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News Brief

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe: Using Coronavirus Fears as an Excuse for an Early Election was an ‘Error’

Local newspaper calls Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe ‘asinine’ for attempting to exploit coronavirus fears for political gain

Saskatchewan’s Premier is walking back a statement suggesting his province needs to call an early election before the coronavirus reaches the Prairies.

According to the Canadian Press, Moe says he “made a mistake when he gave the novel coronavirus outbreak as a reason why he’s not committed to a provincial election in October.”

Last week, Moe named the threat of the coronavirus as one of the reasons why he needs to disregard his own fixed-election law and hold the vote earlier than anyone in Saskatchewan expected (voters were scheduled to go to the polls on October 26).

What he said before: “Moe said the current political climate and risks of coronavirus are reasons he’s ‘reserving the opportunity’ to call an early election” (Friday, February 28, 2020).

What he’s saying now: “I don’t think it really impacts the (election) decision to any degree. And I mentioned it in error because it is so top of mind for so many now” (Monday March 2, 2020).

Exploiting coronavirus for political gain is “asinine”: “It’s nasty and unprincipled this business,” says Murray Mandryk of the Leader-Post. “So unprincipled, that even politicians feel the need for asinine excuses to avoid owning up to this reality.”

“Yep. The best way to stop a contagious virus is call an election where you door knock, shake hands, kiss babies and hold public rallies. That’ll stop the little buggers from spreading. That will stop the current public panic.”

Saskatchewan emergency rooms still overcrowded: Although Moe was eager to use coronavirus fears for political gain, that hasn’t translated into his governing Saskatchewan Party doing anything about the province’s overcrowded hospital emergency rooms.

“That’s a very dangerous situation if you have a new major virus, ” Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili said Monday. “We have not seen this government take the question of overcrowded ERs seriously.”

[Canadian Press]

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