Alberta is certainly a leader in Canada, but not in the way the UCP had likely envisioned.
With two consecutive days over 1500 cases, including surpassing Ontario and Quebec in absolute numbers of new and active cases, this wasn’t what the UCP hoped their personal responsibility mantra would deliver.
All along, the government and its talking heads have espoused the need to protect the economy. They have consistently framed the question of what Covid19 action to take, if any, in terms of economic protection – and an absolute choice between the economy or locking down.
While this narrative may have played well with their base, the virus cares not about political rhetoric and has had little regard for the economy. Now with hospitals at or above capacity, the invisible Premier will be forced to emerge from his game of hide and seek tomorrow to provide a dose of the bitter cure that an ounce of prevention might have avoided, or at least prolonged the need to administer.
Often, they have abdicated their responsibilities to make tough decisions to municipalities, and their accountability to support Albertans in crisis to the federal government.
This afternoon, Dr. Hinshaw was scheduled to make a suite of recommendations to the emergency cabinet committee to address what has become, in her words, a “grim situation.”
Let’s hope that whatever action the government is now being forced into taking will help stem the in-progress avalanche that threatens our healthcare system while preserving some lives.
In the end what we’re learning is that managing the pandemic comes with heavy economic and fiscal costs. The question is at what cost to human lives are we prepared to accept that inevitable outcome.
Robbie Kreger-Smith is a consultant for restaurants, communications, and marketing with previous partisan political experience in Alberta.