Posted on Feb 19, 2021


EDMONTON - Premier Jason Kenney finally produced his badly delayed Phase Two vaccine plan today, but it was missing key details, included no plan for the broader public, and failed to address troubling new modelling of the spread of COVID-19 variants in Alberta.

“I am very concerned to see new modelling released today that suggests COVID-19 variants may drive Alberta back to our December levels of new cases even with our current public health restrictions,” said David Shepherd, NDP Critic for Health. “This comes only hours after Tyler Shandro signaled that he intended to move ahead with the Step Two easing of restrictions in early March.”

The Opposition renews its call for Kenney to release his own internal COVID modelling and the written recommendation Dr. Deena Hinshaw presented to the cabinet earlier this week.

“Without that data, it appears that once again Jason Kenney is making public health decisions based on political pressure and not scientific evidence, and ultimately that will mean more harm to Alberta businesses and our broader economy,” Shepherd said.

“Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro finally released their plan to vaccinate Albertans, more than two months after he promised Alberta was ready. Those delays caused a lot of unnecessary anxiety for Alberta families and businesses. It’s hard to see why this lateness was necessary and these delays damaged public trust.

“We didn’t hear any kind of a plan for the broader Alberta public, something that other provinces have provided to their residents for several weeks.

“I am also disappointed that the Premier and the Minister had no update on a promised public education campaign to address questions that some Albertans may have about safety or effectiveness of the vaccine.

“So in summary, Jason Kenney’s announcement was late, missing key details, and failed to address the very credible threat posed by new COVID-19 variants,” Shepherd said.