Saskatchewan Conservatives call for dialogue, action as convoy persists

Found on: MeadowlakeNOW

The Conservative Party has gone through a shakeup of leadership in the last few weeks and local members of parliament in Saskatchewan have supported the push for the prime minister’s office to engage with the trucker’s convoy.

Gary Vidal of the Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River riding, told meadowlakeNOW earlier this week that PM Justin Trudeau needs to listen to people that are saying he is wrong on the issue of COVID-19 mandates.

“It’s not just the opposition, it’s not just the Canadian people, it’s now his own MP’s calling on him to listen to the voices of people and quit dividing the country,” he said.

“You give respect, you get respect. Let’s be a voice that brings people together, instead of dividing people.”

Vidal pointed to multiple European governments deciding to lift all restrictions in the last few weeks. More than 80 per cent of the eligible population in Canada has been fully vaccinated and in Saskatchewan the total is a hair underneath that. Of the 398 hospitalized cases in January, 34 per cent were unvaccinated. The new seven-day average of daily new cases is at 768, which is reduction of 88.

“We’re one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, but we have some of the tightest restrictions and I think people are ready to be done with that,” Vidal said. “At least tell us what the standards are going to have to be so we can know how to move forward.”

The Meadow Lake region’s MP said he’s talked to people on the streets to Ottawa while going to work during the presence of this convoy. While he denounced any unlawful behavior, as some ugly incidents have been highlighted by national media, Vidal said the people he’s talked to have been peaceful

“My take is that we have a democratic right to protest or demonstrate peacefully,” he said. “When people cross lines of unacceptable behavior, they should be called out and addressed. But my own experience so far is that most people here have been respectful and decent in my interaction with them.”

Asking for a plan

Since then, the Conservatives, under interim leader Candice Bergen, have taken a bolder stance directly calling for the government for a plan to lift federal COVID-19 restrictions, especially vaccine mandates.

When reached for her thoughts on the matter by battlefordsNOW, Rosemarie Falk of the Battlefords – Lloydminster riding supported the call from the conservative caucus this week for the Federal government to table a plan by Feb. 28.

“Canadians cannot be expected to live with mandates and restrictions indefinitely,” she said. “It has been shameful to hear the Liberals not only denounce our motion but repeatedly refuse to even tell Canadians what metrics are being used to justify their continued enforcement.”

“Canadians have sacrificed so much over the past two years and the prime minister owes them a plan.”

Friday afternoon, the Attorney General of Ontario was granted intervener status to prevent protesters from blocking the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor. Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency as a response to the protests. Fines will be up to $100,000, along with up to a year of imprisonment.

Federal amendment successful

Following the successful passage of a Conservative motion to amend section 24 of the Saskatchewan Act earlier this week, CP Rail’s tax exemption in Saskatchewan has been repealed. Falk issued a statement on the success of the motion, which was being brought before the House of Commons for the second time.

“This constitutional change will achieve tax fairness for Saskatchewan on this matter and the success of our motion commits the Government of Canada to it,” she said.