Posted on Nov 22, 2020


CALGARY - Associate Health Minister Jason Luan told constituents in a virtual town hall that Alberta hospitals will have to be pushed to the limit before Jason Kenney and the UCP will consider any new measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, a statement he later said he truly regrets.

"Our criteria is measured against our hospital capacity to handle ICUs and hospitalizations,” Luan said Friday evening. “So we're waiting to see where that threshold will be pushed to our limit, then gradually reduce more activities that way."

Healthcare professionals are already warning that the Alberta health care system may soon be overrun by COVID-19 if case counts are not brought into control. There were 1,336 new cases and 11,274 active cases reported Saturday.

“If this is just another one of Luan’s bozo eruptions, then Jason Kenney must immediately tell Albertans exactly what the true thresholds are to take action,” said David Shepherd, NDP Official Opposition Critic for Health. “He must also seriously consider whether Luan can remain in cabinet while broadcasting false information to Albertans during a deadly public health crisis.”

“I truly regret any confusion my statement has caused,” Luan said in a statement today. “I am not a spokesperson or involved in any decision making around introducing new restrictions or hospital capacity.”

“This is an unforgivable attempt to duck responsibility by a cabinet minister,” Shepherd said. “As the associate minister of health, Luan is absolutely a spokesperson and a decision maker and he gave Albertans false information about the government’s response to COVID-19.”

Luan’s comments come shortly after UCP MLA Miranda Rosin mailed out a glossy flyer to her constituents that read “with the worst of the COVID-19 health pandemic behind us…” Rosin’s statement is false; Alberta is setting near-daily new records for COVID-19 infections. 

Alberta is also the only province in Canada without a mask policy. Alberta’s NDP has called for a targeted mask policy for communities on the enhanced measures list. On Thursday, Health Minister Tyler Shandro refused to consider such a policy, and refused to even commit UCP MLAs to wearing masks themselves.

“It’s clear that Jason Kenney is sleepwalking through the second wave of a deadly pandemic and his MLAs are misleading Albertans with false information,” Shepherd said. “The premier must immediately address Luan’s profoundly dangerous comments.”