Statement from SGEU President Tracey Sauer:

The Government of Saskatchewan is yet again showing us where their priorities lie.

After a Court of King’s Bench judge ordered a temporary injunction against their pronoun policy on Thursday, Premier Scott Moe wasted no time in announcing that legislature was to be recalled so he could invoke the notwithstanding clause and push the policy forward. This was in response to a ruling which stated that the policy would cause irreparable harm to some of the province’s most vulnerable young people.

Canada’s charter is meant to protect our basic rights and freedoms. The notwithstanding clause is to be used sparingly and only in highly unusual circumstances, not as a knee-jerk reaction to a judicial decision the government doesn’t agree with. If the premier sincerely believed his policy was right, he would allow it to be deliberated through the courts.

It is shocking that, in a province with the lowest minimum wage, the second lowest education funding per student, a growing addictions crisis, rampant homelessness, record-high food bank usage and some of the worst child poverty rates in the country, this is what the premier decides to do with public resources.

Premier Scott Moe’s decision to recall the legislative assembly early to invoke the notwithstanding clause proves that he is willing to take quick, decisive action when he wants to. It is unfortunate that this sense of urgency doesn’t seem to extend to the cost-of-living crisis, the healthcare crisis, the housing crisis, or any other number of issues facing youth and adults in this province.

I wholeheartedly condemn the Government of Saskatchewan’s use of these drastic measures, and I hope that the people of Saskatchewan will show up at the rally being held at the legislature at noon on October 10 to protest the irresponsible and unnecessary use of the notwithstanding clause. We need to defend our charter rights.

Tracey Sauer (she/her)

SGEU President