Friday Focus: Open for Summer. Closed for Fall.

The last time we heard from Premier Kenney and Dr. Hinshaw, they said we didn’t need to reverse course—every measure around the pandemic was to remain in place until September 21st. But today’s announcement altering course by half-measures is once again in keeping with Premier Kenney’s UCP-run government’s haphazard approach to handling the pandemic: No consistency except inconsistency. No proactive steps, just reactive ones.

Premier Kenney disappeared for weeks. During a crisis. A crisis of the government’s own making through a complete lack of leadership. COVID-19 cases in Alberta are rising dramatically. We are on track for 6000 new cases a day within a month. Why? Because Jason Kenney put rodeos ahead of people’s health. Nearly 500 Albertans are in the hospital with this deadly virus, and our Premier disappeared on us. Albertans are understandably angry. So am I.

School Boards were forced to scramble to make their own rules. But, unlike our Premier, they rose to the occasion. Rural communities, seeing their highest hospitalization rates since the start of the pandemic, are desperate for help. Healthcare workers have been abandoned by our government and have insufficient resources to tackle the crisis before them. 

Alberta led the continent in COVID-19 case numbers during the Third Wave, and Jason Kenney’s reaction has been to do even less during the Fourth. Instead of bringing in a vaccine passport to reward those who have done the right thing and keep businesses thriving, the Premier just brought in piecemeal measures today that reward the unvaccinated, harm the hospitality industry and above all, are too little and too late. 

Jason Kenney and his UCP government have embraced an anti-government doctrine so uncompromising, reckless and extreme that even in a generation-defining crisis, they believe the government should do less for its citizens. 

Jason Kenney needs to stop testing his reckless ideology on Albertans and start leading. It’s time to implement a vaccine passport and to be proactive on COVID moving forward.  Albertans elected him to lead. It’s high time he does.