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No COVID-19 inquiry, says Merriman

Health minister was quick to shut down Nadine Wilson’s demand for an inquiry into lockdowns and adverse effects of vaccines.
Health Minister Paul Merriman, seen here as he spoke to reporters recently about the flu shot campaign, will not be calling an inquiry into COVID-19.

REGINA - Health Minister Paul Merriman had a simple response to the latest call for a provincial inquiry into COVID-19. 

“As far as a general inquiry, we’re not pursuing that at this time,” was his response in the legislature Thursday.

There have been several calls for inquiries into the province’s handling of the pandemic, from both the opposition NDP as well as the provincial Liberals, but those requests seemed based on the premise that the province could have done more to protect the public.

This time, the call for an inquiry came from Nadine Wilson, independent MLA for Saskatchewan Rivers, who has been firmly against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

In the Legislature during Question Period, Wilson referred to “various still-experimental vaccines against SARS-CoV-2” and that the Government of Saskatchewan “has mandated their use in our province.”

She noted “there has not been a process of active surveillance of this mandated measure.”

“And there is considerable evidence in various forms of media and in our directive experience that the inferior passive surveillance has resulted in severe under-reporting of the true and very significant number of adverse effects, many quite serious and even fatal.”

She asked the Premier to “call for an independent inquiry into the full extent of the adverse effects from the various SARS-COVID vaccines and all related issues, including lockdowns, discrimination, and provincial response to the COVID pandemic regarding policies related to social, economic, health, and educational wellness.” 

In response Merriman said there was no mandate by the provincial government that people had to get vaccinated. 

“We had a very clear policy, Mr. Speaker, of people that had to get vaccinated or they had to show proof of a negative test because that was an option that this government provided the people of Saskatchewan.

Mr. Speaker, throughout this we’ve been led by Dr. (Saqib) Shahab and his team of experts in this challenging time. As of October 8th we’ve been able to distribute 2,630,158 vaccines. And adverse reactions is 0.004, a very, very small percentage, Mr. Speaker.

“Mr. Speaker, I can continue to say this over and over again. Vaccines are the safest way to be able to protect yourself from any adverse effects from COVID-19, and I would encourage people to go out and get their shots.”

When Wilson again asked for an independent inquiry, Merriman reiterated the province didn’t have a mandate. “We always had an option.”