Clear, cogent communication is a critical component of crisis management. I realised today that my mental health is poor in large part because of a cognitive dissonance I experience between what is happening and what I hear from our leaders. #covid19sk
This is what I would like to hear:

Saskatchewan, I know this is scary. We went through most of the pandemic with very little exposure to COVID. Although most of us struggled with the financial costs and mental & physical health toll of the pandemic, very few of us got sick.
Today, in the face of weeks of rising numbers and crisis-level numbers in our neighbouring provinces, I'm here to tell you how we're going to get through this together.

First, let me reassure you that across the Province, we have many people committed to keeping you safe.
Those health care workers, researchers, modelers, contact tracers, administrators and more are all working very hard to ensure that we can make the best decisions possible for you, our economy, and for our health care system.
The good news is that we understand a lot more about COVID today than we did at the beginning of 2020. And we're using that knowledge so that we don't have to shut everything down for extended periods, because we know that costs you too much.
People die when we close things: domestic violence spikes, opioid deaths increase, jobs are lost, businesses close, and you suffer a huge mental health toll. All of these things need to be avoided as much as possible.
So to do this, we're taking a very clear approach to managing our response.

We are going to respond on a region-by-region basis, even a case-by-case basis. Where outbreaks are happening and numbers growing, we're going to shut things down.
But we're going to close the things that are driving the spread. If it's bingo halls and religious meetings, those will close. If it's restaurants and clothing stores, those will close. If it's gyms and stylists, those will close.
But we're going to close the sectors that are driving the pandemic growth, not those that appear to be safe. And we won't close them for good. We will send inspectors to the sites of outbreak events and work with business owners to figure out how we can make them safe.
And while the sectors are closed, the business owners and staff of those sectors will be able to access a financial fund that will keep them on their feet. It will be as simple to access as the CERB and go on for as long as it needs to until those business are able to open safely
The metrics for closure will be public and they will be constructed so that we can anticipate problems rather than react to them. They will include infections per 100,000, hospitalizations, rate of increase, and positivity rate, and more.
Each of our tripwires will be public and we will report on where we are on a regional basis every few days. Infections can be bursty, so we will use rolling averages to identify trends. Not one day of scary numbers, but trends will trigger clear, well-publicised changes.
But I want to assure you that we're doing more behind the scenes. We are monitoring the delay time in contact tracing and hiring appropriately. We are modeling how this changes with infection rates and have several ways we can optimize how this works as the delay changes.
We are working with our doctors and nurses and their associations to plan for moving staff around as necessary, supporting their isolation (and their families) as needed, increasing or decreasing time on the front line, and even using volunteers and students in a crisis.
We are continuously adding capacity to 811 and our testing. This is not just in lab capacity, but also in accessibility, making it easy, for instance, for people without cars to be able to get to a testing facility and finding ways to get school kids tested quickly.
We are finding ways to manage ICU surges without compromising routine and emergency medical treatments unrelated to COVID. We are embarking on an ambitious plan to provide additional staff and resources to our long term care facilities.
All of this is happening behind the scenes and will be difficult to show you on a daily basis, but we will do our best to give you concrete examples as we make progress.

Finally, a note on the cost of this.
It's expensive. Keeping you safe will cost us money. But we have money. While COVID has hit our economy hard, we're still growing and any money we borrow today will save us much in medical costs and economic costs later.
It may mean that we will have to manage this with increased taxes at some point: it's something we did in times of war and this is not much different from a war. But it's also possible that by investing heavily right now, we'll come out of this faster and better than others.
This may not be all the information you need to hear, so I will also make this promise: I am here for questions. Not just today, but every day until we are through this together. And we will get through it. Everything I've outlined here will help...
but all of this will almost certainly change as we find new ways to fight this disease and new ways to take care of each other. And every thing that changes will be explained: not just what is changing, but why. We will get through this. I promise.

Thank you.
Now. Any questions?

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More from @AaronGenest

13 Nov
Today is the #yxe election, again, so I'm going to talk about one of my favourite subjects: taxes.

In particular, "why are my taxes going up every year faster than inflation in Saskatoon?"

The short answer? Because your parents made poor decisions.
The long answer is a bit harder. We're suffering from an infrastructure debt common to many cities our size and age that's the result of rapid growth in the 50's-70's, a false assumption that low taxes increased competitiveness, poor density planning up until the last decade,
and a massive shift in infrastructural load (because of population movement) from rural districts to urban districts.

Let's look at each of those in turn.
Read 19 tweets
23 Oct
Over a year ago, our neighbour's wife and kids escaped him. We and a few community members facilitated this, including finding a place for them to stay while they waited for a shelter, funding them in spending money, paying for the divorce lawyer, and much more.
In addition to a civil divorce creeping forward, there are criminal proceedings. The police officer responsible for the case described it as among the worst cases of abuse he'd seen in his lengthy career.

We've been continuing to support this family, since.
The family is an immigrant family, and the man and woman from two different countries. She's educated, but has poor English and has not worked in Canada. He's a tradesperson and has better English.

Before the separation our children played together.
Read 18 tweets

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