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Saqib ShahabGlobal News / YouTube

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan, December 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Canadians are being encouraged to report their neighbors to the authorities in a chilling campaign reminiscent of East Germany and other communist countries.

Last week the Chief Medical Officer for the province of Saskatchewan explicitly said that residents should report others for not obeying public health guidelines regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

“If anyone has any information on [infractions], you know, there is a public health or a non-compliance reporting form where reports can be made,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab on November 26.

“There’s the Saskatchewan public health safety number,” he continued. “So, you know, it is important to report non-compliance, and I would also like to submit that the time for education is now mostly over. Any egregious non-compliance will and should be met through fines and other measures.”

Effective Friday, November 27, only four people are permitted to sit at a table at a restaurant or bar in the province. Only 30 people are permitted to gather in any bingo hall, cinema or other place of entertainment with a capacity of 150 people, and food and drink must be consumed apart from the activity. Indoor “public banquets” and receptions are limited to 30 people, and food and drink may not be served. Only 30 people are allowed to gather for public worship in any one building. Large stores must limit customers to 50% capacity. Since November 19, residents of the province cannot have “indoor gatherings” of more than five people in their homes.

A Saskatchewan priest who spoke to LifeSiteNews under condition of anonymity said that his prairie province has a culture in which neighbors take care of each other in spite of government regulations.

However, he had heard two stories about people using the government’s coronavirus snitch line. The first involved a pizza delivery man who reported on a household after noticing guests there during a delivery. The second involved a restaurant customer who reported the restaurant for seating eight people together.

This has had an effect on local behavior, the priest explained. “You don’t know who to trust.”

He told LifeSiteNews that he knows of doctors who believe that the government guidelines are too strict and that the Catholic Church in Saskatchewan should “push back” regarding the limited number of people permitted to attend public worship. However, the priest acknowledged that Catholics in the province have more freedom of worship than in the neighboring province of Manitoba, where all in-person religious services are banned.

The priest also indicated that Saskatchewan hospitals are not sites of coronavirus chaos.

“They emptied out hospitals to make room for COVID patients, but for now hospitals seem quiet,” he said.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Saskatchewan received 2,912 “COVID-related calls for service” between March 1 and October 31, 2020, “an average of 364 calls a month.”

From the almost 3,000 calls, 42 charges resulted. The CBC reported that the majority of those spoken to by the police were given a lecture about “the potential health and enforcement consequences that can result from non-compliance with the public health order,” according to an RCMP spokesperson.

The population of Saskatchewan is approximately 1,174,000 people, less than five people per square mile. According to the provincial government, there have been 9,219 “cases” of COVID-19. 55 deaths in the province have been attributed to it.