Posted on Nov 25, 2020


EDMONTON - Premier Jason Kenney must come clean with Albertans and publicly release all of the COVID-19 recommendations Dr. Deena Hinshaw presented to cabinet this week, including the public health measures he refused to implement.

“Jason Kenney is clearly hiding public health advice from Albertans,” said NDP Health Critic David Shepherd. 

“It’s obvious that the small package of half-measures Kenney announced yesterday were all that he could convince the extremist fringe of his caucus to accept. Albertans have the right to hear Dr. Hinshaw’s unfiltered, professional advice and judge Kenney’s decisions for themselves.

“If Jason Kenney really is putting into force all the public health advice he’s getting, then I say prove it.”

Kenney took no meaningful action on masks, leaving Alberta as the only province in Canada without a provincewide mask policy, despite having the highest number of active cases.

“Masks don’t close business, they don’t infringe on people’s freedom,” Shepherd said. “They are a simple and low-cost way for every Albertan to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. But we know that several UCP MLAs promote anti-mask conspiracy theories, and clearly Kenney was too cowardly to stand up to them.”

Kenney’s restrictions on indoor public gatherings are packed with complicated exemptions, despite the fact that more than 80 per cent of new COVID cases can’t be traced to their source.

“Kenney did not base these exemptions on data, because that data doesn’t exist,” Shepherd said. “He failed to prepare Alberta’s contract tracing system for the second wave. AHS has given up on tracing cases more than ten days old, and now it’s impossible to develop effective targeted measures.”

After months of insisting that Alberta schools are safe, Kenney abruptly ordered all students in Grades 7-12 to move to online learning next week, and not to return to classrooms until January 11, 2021.

“We presented the government with a plan for safe school re-entry in July, and Kenney ignored it,” said NDP Education Critic Sarah Hoffman. “As recently as last week, the Education Minister insisted that there were no problems in schools. Alberta students, staff and families have a right to see the information that Dr. Hinshaw presented that prompted this sudden decision.

“Albertans are tired of hearing the Premier claim he is following Dr. Hinshaw’s advice, and then refuse to back it up. It’s long past time for Albertans to be shown the full picture. We are calling on Premier Kenney to release all of Dr. Hinshaw’s recommendations, presentations and reports from the last week.”