Posted on May 10, 2021
ALL NDP MLAs HAVE BEEN VACCINATED, ENCOURAGE UCP MLAs TO DO SAME AND PUBLICLY PROMOTE SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF VACCINES
EDMONTON – All 24 Alberta NDP MLAs have now received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and continue to call for a blanket endorsement of the safety and effectiveness of these shots from all 87 Members of the Legislative Assembly.
In a Jan. 27 letter to Premier Jason Kenney, NDP Leader Rachel Notley confirmed all members of her Caucus intended to receive their vaccines and promote them to their constituents. She also encouraged all members of the United Conservative Caucus to do the same.
Media reports in recent days indicate 19 UCP MLAs have refused to confirm whether they will be vaccinated, including Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen. There is also no declaration of support for the vaccines from the majority of those MLAs, including 14 of the 18 MLAs who publicly opposed public health orders put in place by the Government of Alberta.
“As of today, Alberta’s per-capita COVID-19 case rate is more than double the next highest in Canada,” said NDP Health Critic David Shepherd. “We are leaders in our communities. People listen to what we have to say, especially in times of crisis. We need a full endorsement of these vaccines from all 87 Alberta MLAs, period.”
Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes didn’t say whether he would get vaccinated during a national television interview on Sunday, nor did he offer an endorsement for the doses.
Some of those MLAs who have refused to take a public stance on vaccines, such as Banff-Kananaskis MLA Miranda Rosin and Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr, represent areas with among the highest per-capita case counts of COVID-19 in all of Canada.
Three of the MLAs — Tracy Allard, Jason Stephan, and Jeremy Nixon — were also caught defying public health restrictions and vacationing out of the country in the Alohagate scandal.
“Our best tool to get our normal lives back are these vaccines,” Shepherd said. “I was proud to receive mine and was proud to promote them in doing so. Why won’t UCP MLAs also promote these life-saving shots? I can only assume it’s politics at play and that’s a real shame when peoples’ lives are at stake.
“I encourage every single member of the legislature to quit playing games and endorse the vaccines today.”
Edmonton-West Henday NDP MLA Jon Carson was the final MLA in the Alberta NDP Caucus to receive his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday.