Were Jason Kenney captain of the Titanic instead of Premier of Alberta, he would have effectively made the decision to steer full speed into the iceberg.
Having decided economic livelihood trumps actual human life, the government has done the bare minimum (his words, not mine), to control Covid19 spread and death.
(Never mind that businesses are closing on their own due to fear of the spread, and there are numerous cases of workplace violence occurring due to belligerent individuals taking their cues from a Premier who thinks unadulterated “freedom” is more important than public health).
As a result of this decision, we are now seeing hospitals over capacity, ICUs that are double bunking patients (a move that Ontario’s Health Minister called a crisis), and doctors that haven’t been trained in or used their training in ICUs in decades being reassigned to the front lines of the death lines created by the UCP’s insistence to do as little as they can.
Yesterday it came to light that the provincial government had asked the Red Cross and the Federal Government to set up 2 field hospitals each – for a total of four, for the eventuality that there are no beds left in Alberta hospitals.
Alberta is the only government in Canada that has had to do this.
It is an absolute demonstration of the critical failure of the UCP government to fulfill its duty to protect Albertans, not “responsible planning” as the Premier stated when asked pointedly by a journalist yesterday whether this was a sign of his failure to control the pandemic.
Yesterday Premier Kenney tweeted out a graphic with the very bold headline “ALBERTA WILL NOT MAKE ANY VACCINE MANDATORY” followed by some VERY fine print (so fine some people missed it) – “But we need as many Albertans as possible to get vaccinated. I will when it’s my turn and I hope others will too.”
As Political Scientist Lisa Young from the Calgary School of Public Policy pointed out – the font and emphasis tell you all you need to know about who Kenney prioritizes in his decisions.
A responsible Premier would have posted something more like this – as shared by Alberta Party Corporate Secretary Myles Chykerda:
Recent polling shows that Premier Kenney’s approval rating continues to tank, being the second least popular Premier in all of Canada, only behind Manitoba’s Premier Brian Pallister, who holds the distinction of being the only one worse at managing Covid19 in all of Canada.
(For what it’s worth, Pallister says it’s CBC host Rosie Barton’s fault for not providing solutions).
Alberta is the only province in Canada where a majority (and it is a vast majority) of the population don’t approve of the handling of the pandemic.
When you look at the awful situations that have occurred both in Quebec and Ontario, it’s clear the difference is empathy and the willingness to pivot and take action, or at least make it look like you’re taking action.
In spite of Kenney’s hesitance to protect Albertan’s lives, one might think a desire to save his own political life might eventually spur him to action.
Robbie Kreger-Smith is a consultant for restaurants, communications, and marketing with previous partisan political experience in Alberta.