Saskatoon’s mayor is calling for a vaccine passport and other public health measures to protect against COVID-19.
Charlie Clark said restrictions need to be placed on people who choose not to be vaccinated.
On Tuesday night, Clark posted on Facebook about the pandemic situation in the city, detailing the reasons he’d like to see measures implemented.
He said the city is still finalizing it’s policies for employees, and for public services including transit and leisure centres.
According to Clark, the health-care system is being stretched thin, and local health officers and their teams can no longer keep up with contact tracing.
He also pointed to wastewater data in the city, which recently showed the highest ever amount of COVID-19 since researchers at the University of Saskatchewan began studying it.
“The delta variant is now the dominant strain in our city and province,” Clark wrote. “Saskatoon is the hotspot in the province with cases rising exponentially each day in the past week.”
Clark said he believes measures should be put in place in the city, including vaccine passports, vaccination requirements for certain activities and mandatory testing.
“I believe there need to be measures in place for people who choose not to be vaccinated, that put limits or conditions on how much they can participate in community activities,” he said.
Clark’s comments come shortly after the City of Saskatoon announced it would postpone its return to work plan as COVID numbers increase.
Clark added that the most important thing is for the city to go from 68 per cent of the population being vaccinated to 85 per cent.
Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili also says he’s in support of implementing certain health mandates. (Michael Bell/The Canadian Press)
Saskatchewan’s Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili voiced support for implementing certain health mandates.
“Let’s be looking at mask mandates, let’s be looking at vaccine mandates. Let’s use the tools we have to allow us to live the most normal version of life while keeping the most people alive,” Meili said.
Meili also said he doesn’t think it should be left to cities to come up with their own rules and plans, and called on the government to take action.
“We need guidance from the province, from our chief medical health officer, from the ministers and the premier,” he said.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Saskatchewan government said the province would not be following Manitoba’s recent decision to require vaccinations for provincial health-care workers. The province also said it is monitoring COVID-19 cases and will to take advice from the chief medical health officer.
Last week Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said that a vaccine mandate for provincial employees was not on the table, but encouraged residents to get vaccinated.