Premier Scott Moe is getting pushback for his recent comments, which appeared to single out the Far North and First Nations communities for low COVID-19 immunization rates.
In his post federal election response, Moe tried to tie Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the low uptake, claiming that Ottawa has exclusive jurisdiction and a role to play in boosting rates.
“Our Far North and Indigenous communities are running at a vaccination rate lower than 50 percent, some as low as 23 percent. This is an area where we have some of the highest COVID transmissions in the province and this is an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction,” Moe said.
The website COVID-19 Tracker Canada, cites full immunization rates in the Far North at 42.7 percent. The South, Saskatoon, Central and North regions of the province have full vaccinated rates between 57 and 60 percent.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said that the low immunization uptake is not just on First Nations communities, but in other areas of the province. It called on the provincial and federal governments to work together to end the pandemic.
There are many communities and regions, not just First Nations communities that have a low vaccination rate. We continue to urge everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. We all must work together to end this pandemic for every community @PremierScottMoe @JustinTrudeau https://t.co/dsKOLrr6yo
— FSIN (@fsinations) September 23, 2021
Indigenous Services Minister also denounced Moe’s comments stating they were inaccurate and undermines the cooperative approach in dealing with the virus.
Stating that all this work is “exclusive” federal jurisdiction is not only inaccurate but undermines the spirit of Indigenous self-determination that has guided our cooperative approach and must continue in order to overcome this current wave.
— Marc Miller (@MarcMillerVM) September 24, 2021
The province Friday said, “Saskatchewan has now reached 80 per cent of all eligible residents receiving their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 71 per cent receiving two doses.”