Posted on Feb 1, 2021

David Shepherd, NDP Critic for Health, made the following statement:

“COVID variant cases in Alberta have doubled over the past week and Premier Jason Kenney is failing to take this seriously. This growth is extremely concerning, especially when the province has still not identified the source of three cases that are not linked to travel.

“We must face the possibility that if these variants are not already spreading in our province, then they will be soon. This will have serious implications for our hospitals, schools, seniors and small businesses.

“I was disappointed that all of the information we got today about the variant cases was in response to media questions and not proactively disclosed to the public.

“We have been calling for Premier Jason Kenney to present Albertans with a plan to respond to these variants and with daily updates. That plan would include new quarantine requirements for international and domestic air travelers, and more testing for these highly contagious COVID-19 variants. We didn’t get any of these things today and that doesn’t build public trust that the province is ready.

“On Friday the Premier raised the expectations of many Albertans that he would re-open gyms and restaurants next Monday. 

“He made this decision even though our vaccine supply has been interrupted and today we also know that the variants cases continue to grow in Alberta. 

“I am very worried that without a provincial plan to respond to these variants the premier is gambling with a re-opening plan that may have to quickly snap back into restrictions and create more hardship and uncertainty for Alberta families and businesses.”