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New Sask United Party raises issue of vaccine injuries in Leg

Daily Leg Update - Exchange between Nadine Wilson and Minister Everett Hindley happens on same day the Saskatchewan United Party is officially registered.
Nadine Wilson speaks to reporters after raising the vaccine injuries issue in the Legislature.

REGINA - The lone member of the Legislature from Saskatchewan’s newest political party grilled the government Thursday on the plight of those injured by COVID-19 vaccines.

Saskatchewan Rivers MLA Nadine Wilson raised the issue of vaccines on the same day that her party, the Saskatchewan United Party, announced on social media that they were “now officially registered as Saskatchewan's newest political party.”

Despite her party's reaching that significant milestone, it nevertheless was a frustrating day for both Wilson and her invited guests who suffered from vaccine injuries, as they accused government members and the media of not listening to their concerns. There was also no indication from Everett Hindley, Minister of Rural and Remote Health, that the government would meet with any members of Wilson's group during his remarks in Question Period.

Elections Saskatchewan makes it official

The Saskatchewan United Party was announced earlier this year, and had been backed by names including former Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Gerry Ritz and former Maverick Party federal candidate Ken Rutherford. While the party has claimed to be a grassroots movement that is not motivated by partisan politics, it has attracted a vocal contingent of supporters who are against vaccine mandates. 

The party was required by Elections Saskatchewan to submit a petition signed by 2,500 voters of which 1,000 must reside in ten different constituencies. The party claimed to have met this requirement earlier this summer.

On Thursday, Elections Saskatchewan confirmed in a news release that Dr. Michael Boda, Chief Electoral Officer of Saskatchewan, had announced the Saskatchewan United Party has completed requirements to become a registered political party in the province as of Nov. 30. 

Elections Saskatchewan also reported that on its official E-509 form submitted to apply for registration of a political party, that Wilson was listed as the party leader, that the chief official agent is Pat Rutherford, and the political party office is in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. 

“My office has verified that Saskatchewan United Party’s application to become a registered political party meets all requirements of The Election Act, 1996,” said Dr. Boda in a statement.

Vaccine issue dominates Question Period

While the official party registration was big news, it was the vaccine issue that Wilson concentrated on Thursday in questions directed at Minister Hindley during Question Period.

In that exchange recorded in Hansard, Wilson repeated her call for a provincial inquiry on vaccine injuries, and pointed to her guests in attendance in the gallery.

Ms. Wilson: — “… There’s some Saskatchewan people in your gallery, my guests, and they’ve all experienced life-changing, adverse affects from taking an experimental drug. Health is a provincial matter, and these people have found that there are a multitude of roadblocks when trying to have their injury recognized by our own provincial care, our own health care system, and even to access treatment. They feel like pariahs, they tell me, in their own province, the province that claims to care…”

In response, Hindley suggested that Wilson, who was elected under the Sask Party banner in 2020, run under her new banner in a byelection.

Hon. Mr. Hindley: — “… I see that the member opposite is now the leader of a new party, Mr. Speaker, and I must have missed the leadership race, Mr. Speaker. But nonetheless, now that she is party leader, I think that she should take this opportunity to face the voters of her constituency in Saskatchewan Rivers and to run as the leader of her party in a by-election, Mr. Speaker.

“Mr. Speaker, on this particular issue, when a patient or a resident or a health care worker experiences or observes an adverse event following immunization, the staff and the physicians that are involved have a legal obligation to report it to the medical health officer. All of these are posted, Mr. Speaker, on the Government of Saskatchewan website. The information is provided there.”

The back-and-forth between Wilson and Hindley on the issue went on for several minutes. 

Ms. Wilson: — “Mr. Speaker, how arrogant. This delegation came today. It’s not about me or the government; it’s about the people of Saskatchewan and their injuries. They want to be recognized. Will the government today, the Premier and the Minister of Health, talk to them, acknowledge them?…”

Hon. Mr. Hindley: — “Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I spoke previously of what happens when there is an adverse event and the protocol that follows that, and the fact that that is reported to the local medical health officer. And the Ministry of Health works with the SHA to make sure that they collect that information and it’s posted on the Government of Saskatchewan website.

“Mr. Speaker, the most recent update I have is as of late November there’s been over 2.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Saskatchewan, and there have been serious adverse reactions of less than 0.004 per cent of all these vaccines administered…”

Ms. Wilson: — “Mr. Speaker, the right thing to do today is for the minister and the Premier to meet with this delegation and to hear their concerns so they don’t feel that they’re devalued by their government, by Saskatchewan.”

Wilson calls government’s response a “travesty”

When Wilson and her delegation met with reporters following Question Period, she called it a “travesty” that the government would not talk with them.

“This delegation that came here today has vaccine injuries, and they’ve shown me all the documentation, and the government doesn’t have the dignity to talk to them, to come down here, face these people of Saskatchewan and ask them questions about how did this happen? They just want to be recognized as human beings.”

When asked why this issue was important to her, Wilson responded “because I’m the only MLA listening.”

“They’d call the other offices, they’d be ridiculed, sometimes they don’t even get an answer. These are Saskatchewan citizens that deserve their government, their Premier and the Minister of Health face them and talk to them.”

She said the group in attendance was “just a small parcel of people” of those concerned about the issue, and added this was an issue that is not going to go away.

Media receives a frosty reception

While Wilson and her delegation seemed interested in talking about vaccine injuries, reporters in attendance seemed more interested in details on Wilson’s new party, as they peppered her with questions on it.

When asked about being the leader, Wilson responded “apparently I am. I don’t have my papers yet but this is what people are telling me, they read it somewhere,” she said.

"But the focus today isn't me. It's about these people who have come to the legislature and no one wants to talk to them."

After she wrapped up, Wilson’s guests then loudly accused the reporters of not being interested in their story. 

One accused all the reporters of being "mockingbird media -- you guys all have the same story tomorrow morning, we'll watch it on every channel and it'll all be the same. Just mockingbirds... you guys will never report what's happening with these injuries. I'm sorry, I don't have time for you."

Another compared Wilson to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, saying Wilson was the first other than Smith to "be speaking truth to people and doesn't care about the consequences. Danielle Smith, Nadine Wilson are honourable ladies."

When the NDP's Nicole Sarauer was asked about her feelings about a third party in the Legislature, she called it “interesting.”

She noted her own party had been reaching out to people and bringing their issues to the legislature, with many people coming to the Legislature to express their concerns. "The new party will likely be doing similar and we saw that today."