Posted on Mar 13, 2020


EDMONTON -- Premier Jason Kenney and his cabinet ministers must respond to key unanswered questions related to the province’s readiness to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have the greatest respect for Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Alberta’s public health officials,” said David Shepherd, NDP Official Opposition Critic for Health. “But there are important questions that must be answered directly by the Premier or his cabinet ministers.”

The NDP Official Opposition is seeking answers to the following questions:


  1. Will the Health Minister end the chaos in healthcare by restoring the previous agreement with doctors and cancelling plans for the layoff of nurses and other workers scheduled for April 1?
  2. Alberta has approximately 8,500 acute care beds, which are currently 96 per cent occupied. How many more beds are coming online, and when?
  3. Albertans with symptoms are being asked to call Health Link 811, but there are reports of wait times of up to seven hours to get through. How many additional operators have been added in the past month and what are the projected staffing levels for the coming month?
  4. Health professionals have expressed serious concern with the number of masks and ventilators available. How many does Alberta have, and what is the plan to increase this number?
  5. When will the Labour Minister present a plan for sick pay for workers in all sectors who must self-isolate?
  6. When will the Labour Minister ban mandatory sick notes for Albertans who self-isolate and are required to stay home from work
  7. When will the Finance Minister present a plan for financial support for Alberta families and businesses affected by the pandemic?

“The ultimate responsibility for pandemic response rests with the Premier and the cabinet,” Shepherd said. “These questions are beyond the scope of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and must be addressed by cabinet.

“I am calling on the Premier to make himself or a cabinet minister available to answer questions each day when the Chief Medical Officer provides her update.”