Posted on Jan 8, 2021


EDMONTON - Premier Jason Kenney must explain why he delayed vaccination of the general public in Alberta from the summertime start he promised into the fall.

On December 2nd, Kenney promised “With of course input from our medical experts at AHS and Alberta Health, by the summer we will plan to begin Phase 3, where the vaccine will be offered to all Albertans.” But on December 30, as the travel scandal began to build, AHS quietly released a revised schedule that pushed the anticipated start of Phase 3 into the fall, and most likely into October. 

Kenney made no comment on this significant delay during his January 1 press conference. He repeatedly promised to provide Albertans with an update on vaccination today before abruptly cancelling it. 

“The vaccine is also a critical step towards ending social isolation and restrictions that are holding back our economic recovery and easing pressure on our health care system,” said David Shepherd, NDP Critic for Health. “Delaying widespread vaccination by three months will have a serious impact on our health and our economy. Events like the Calgary Stampede and many other large cultural events that boost local economies in communities across Alberta need the certainty that comes with widespread vaccination.

“A transparent vaccination program with a clear timeline should be the highest priority for Jason Kenney, but he is too preoccupied with saving his own political skin from scandal,” Shepherd said.

Alberta’s NDP Official Opposition is renewing its call for daily online reporting of vaccinations administered on a regional basis, inventory levels in Alberta, and anticipated incoming shipments.

On January 6th, Saskatchewan announced vaccination of the general public would start in the spring. Ontario says their general vaccination program will start in April and will have delivered more than 15 million doses by July. Today, the Prime Minister said every Canadian who wants to be vaccinated should have it by September.

“Why is Jason Kenney’s vaccination plan for Alberta so chaotic, and so out of step with other provinces and the federal government?” Shepherd said. “Albertans were promised answers today but the premier once again went into hiding.”