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Home City Council City will follow province’s lead on vaccines and masks says mayor

City will follow province’s lead on vaccines and masks says mayor

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City will follow province’s lead on vaccines and masks says mayor
Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Mayor Greg Dionne says the City of Prince Albert will follow the provincial government’s lead when it comes to removing mandatory vaccination and masking orders in public buildings.

Prince Albert city council has a meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday to discuss the matter. However, Dionne said the City has always deferred to the provincial government on public health issues, and that won’t change now.

“We will be following the province’s recommendations, as we have throughout the pandemic,” Dionne said during a phone interview. “We will be removing our restrictions Sunday at midnight.”

Dionne said removing the health orders will help move the province forward. However, he’s still concerned about whether the government has a plan to deal with an overwhelmed healthcare system.

“Our hospitals are still filled with unvaccinated people,” Dionne said. “It’s always been my concern that we have tens of thousands of people now on a waiting list, waiting for surgeries and treatment, that continue to be put off because our hospital is booked with COVID patients. I hope that turns around.”

Dionne said he had no comment on Moe’s statement telling businesses to ‘consult their lawyer’ if they wanted to keep public health orders in place. When asked whether it was the right move, Dionne said he hopes the province made the right decision.

“We’ll just watch the next couple of weeks,” he said.

While Prince Albert seems set to follow the province’s lead, not all Saskatchewan cities are willing to do the same.

Like Prince Albert, Regina city council has a special meeting planned for Friday to discuss whether to cut restrictions or create their own. Meanwhile, Saskatoon city council voted on Tuesday to keep mask requirements in place, but end mandatory vaccination.

A recent poll of Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce measures shows 60 per cent of respondents support the province’s decision. The chamber polled roughly 600 members, but are still tabulating how many responded.