Posted on Sep 18, 2020


EDMONTON - Today, UCP MLAs voted to prevent Dr. Deena Hinshaw from speaking to the Select Special Public Health Act Review Committee, an appearance she had already agreed to and UCP MLAs had previously supported.

“It’s clear that UCP MLAs are running scared,” said NDP Official Opposition Health Critic David Shepherd. “By blocking Dr. Hinshaw’s testimony before the committee, they are preventing the public from hearing directly from the Chief Medical Officer about the decisions made by the Kenney government.”

The UCP members used their majority to ram through a surprise motion to: “rescind the Committee’s approval of the motion agreed to on August 27, 2020, to invite Dr. Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer, to reappear before the Committee.”

At the last meeting of the Committee, members of the Opposition asked Dr. Hinshaw if she should be willing to answer further questions in light of the pandemic and changes to the Public Health Act. Dr. Hinshaw replied: “Of course. This is a priority.”

At that same meeting, UCP members voted unanimously to support Dr. Hinshaw’s further appearance.

“At the last meeting, Dr. Hinshaw confirmed that her role is to advise the government, not make executive decisions,” said MLA Sarah Hoffman. “We’ve been calling on the government to release all of her recommendations publicly, and now they won’t even let Dr. Hinshaw answer questions at a committee.”

With COVID-19 case numbers continuing to rise, and an increasing number of outbreaks in schools, the UCP government is trying to prevent any additional examinations of their actions and plans. Today, Alberta experienced its first case of transmission in schools, and parents across the province have expressed serious concerns about the government’s re-entry plan. 

“It is clear that UCP doesn’t want the public to understand Dr. Hinshaw’s role in providing advice to Education Minister LaGrange or Health Minister Tyler Shandro and confirm that responsibility for the government’s failures rests with them,” added MLA Shepherd. “Clearly they think they’re better off blocking her testimony, even at the cost of transparency and basic public scrutiny.”