Posted on Apr 28, 2021

NDP Leader Rachel Notley and Education Critic Sarah Hoffman made the following joint statement today in relation to Northland School Division:

“It’s clear that Premier Jason Kenney and his ministers have failed the people of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which has the highest rate of COVID-19 infection in Canada. It’s completely unacceptable for Kenney to blame Indigenous communities for this. He was challenged to present evidence for his accusations of vaccine hesitancy in these communities and he was unable to produce any.  


“Today, Indigenous communities took the extraordinary step of pulling their young people out of classrooms. We are extremely troubled to hear that the Northland school district asked for support from Minister Adriana LaGrange to move students online and she refused.


“Northland school division faces a number of unique challenges in serving remote communities with limited internet connectivity. Perhaps more than any other district in Alberta, they need the full support of the provincial government to support student learning at home. We call on Minister LaGrange to provide this support immediately.


“What’s more, Minister LaGrange must accept her responsibility for failing to keep these students safe in their classrooms, and immediately develop a plan for their safe return. This means controlling community spread of COVID-19, and providing the resources for schools to staff up and spread out, as we have called on her to do since the summer of 2020.”