Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe was not coy in expressing his thoughts on Canada's forty-fourth federal election, calling it "the most pointless election in Canada’s history."
"The Prime Minister spent $600 million of taxpayers’ dollars and five weeks further dividing the country to arrive at almost the same result as where we started," reads his statement.
Moe suggested the election funds could have addressed "real issues facing Canadians," according to Regina Leader-Post.
"This time and money could have been spent working to address ... properly funding Canada’s chronically underfunded health system, working with provinces to increase vaccination rates in some of our hardest-to-reach communities, and positioning Canada and its provinces as leaders in the global economic recovery," it reads.
A reporter previously challenged the Trudeau Liberals over its threat of clawing back provincial health transfers to Saskatchewan if the private MRI services continued.
"Why would you do that?" asked the reporter. "And would that apply to provinces like Quebec where there is also private healthcare?"
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded: "Over the past number of years, every time we make a Canada Health Transfer (CHT) to the provinces, we make adjustments, and we have. There are penalties for private delivery of services that we have brought in… a number of different cases."
Though Moe is doubtful they will follow through on the MRI threat, he said the federal and provincial governments have cooperated before — like on child care funding — and must continue to do so.
"Let’s get more things across the line," he added. Despite the sharp criticism, Moe said he has tried to cooperate.
"We have put forward our best foot time and time again," he said. "Yes, at times we have been somewhat bullheaded and taken the federal government to the Supreme Court of Canada when necessary, and we may again, but we have put forward our best foot time and time again, only to be rebuffed time and time again by this prime minister."
In his view, a provincial carbon pricing submission the Liberals have already brushed off would be a good place to start.
"That’s what should happen now."
Moe said the Trudeau Liberals appeared to specifically target provinces led by other parties during the federal election to highlight divisive issues. He called the MRI threat "unfortunate."
Though there wasn't a dramatic change in Monday’s election results compared to the 2019 election, the Conservatives maintained its hold on each of its 14 ridings.
"We are Canadians," Moe said of Saskatchewan people. "We didn’t vote for this prime minister — very few people in this province did — but he represents us as our prime minister."
"So I would ask him, as premier on behalf of the people of this province of Saskatchewan, to work closely with this province of Saskatchewan, to quit putting forward these divisions like you did in the election campaign."
The Liberals have a minority government following Monday’s election with 158 seats to their name, only three more than before the election was called.