Posted on May 10, 2021


EDMONTON – Justice Minister Kaycee Madu must immediately apologize for accusing Alberta journalists and the Opposition of wanting to see the province’s healthcare system collapse under the stress of the COVID pandemic.


In a Facebook post last week, Madu argued that while the majority of people who are infected eventually recover, “it is also not a reason to wait until we overwhelm our healthcare system, then create public panic, and see Albertans in field and make-shift hospitals gasping for breathe because we have ran out of ventilators, manpower etc. My point is that I don’t think it will be responsible to simply wait until we have a disaster on our hands. That’s what the NDP, the media and the federal Liberals were looking for and want.”


Madu’s comments come as the UCP’s slow response to the third wave has driven Alberta’s per-capita active cases to the highest in Canada by far - more than double the rate of the next highest province.


“Madu’s comments are despicable, and he must apologize immediately,” said David Shepherd, NDP Critic for Health. “Our Opposition Caucus has always called for more support for our frontline healthcare heroes, essential workers, and all the Albertans who have suffered immensely through this pandemic. Madu and his colleagues have ignored medical advice, fought a war with doctors, and threatened 11,000 frontline healthcare workers with layoffs.”


As Solicitor General, Madu was also responsible for months of non-enforcement of COVID public health orders, leading up to an anti-mask rodeo outside Bowden in which thousands of people gathered to deliberately defy measures that keep people safe.


“It’s typical of the Kenney government to blame others for their tragic failure to keep our province safe,” said Irfan Sabir, NDP Critic for Justice. “Madu’s senior officials directed police not to enforce public health orders, and he looked the other way for months while anti-maskers marched through the downtown cores of our major cities, putting thousands of people at risk. Now he wants to blame the media.


“Alberta journalists are Albertans, and they want to see this pandemic end as quickly and safely as all of us. Madu must personally apologize for these comments immediately,” Sabir said.