Posted on Feb 23, 2021


EDMONTON - Jason Kenney needs to stand by his words and take action against MLA Drew Barnes, after Barnes spent the weekend actively undermining public health orders and encouraging others to do the same.

On Saturday, Drew Barnes took part in an anti-mask, anti-public health measures protest in Medicine Hat, in which protesters carried signs that read “End the Mask Mandate” and “Open All”. Barnes also released a statement thanking the protesters for their support.

“Jason Kenney told his caucus to knock this off,” said David Shepherd, NDP Health Critic. “He promised Albertans a culture of discipline. Now he must either stand by his words and remove an MLA who is actively campaigning against the health and safety of Albertans from his caucus, or admit he has lost control of the UCP to the conspiracy theorists.”

Kenney failed to take action against Environment Minister Jason Nixon, who Kenney chose to keep on the COVID Cabinet Committee even after Nixon promised to push for regional reopening, something that Dr. Hinshaw says would cause additional risk. 

Kenney also failed to take action when MLAs Angela Pitt and Drew Barnes joined the “End the Lockdown Caucus” alongside the leader of a separatist party and an MP who was thrown out of the federal Conservative party for accepting a donation from a white nationalist. 

“Albertans need better than the weak leadership of Jason Kenney,” said Shepherd. “For months, his MLAs have been publicly undermining his own public health orders. Kenney is enabling their dangerous behaviour with his failure to discipline them. There’s been enough talk - it’s time for Kenney to act.”