Kenney failing his responsibility to protect and care for Albertans during COVID-19

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) President, Mike Parker, reacts to new measures to stop the surge of COVID-19 cases.

Edmonton (26 Nov. 2020) — “Jason Kenney has once again put Albertans at grave risk due to his failure of leadership,” says Mike Parker, President of Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE).

“The Premier keeps saying Albertans need to do their part, while he has consistently failed to do his. He continues to put business interests ahead of the well-being of all Albertans. We have some of the worst COVID-19 numbers in Canada, and it’s Kenney’s failure to act in the best interest of all Albertans that is to blame.”

Circuit-breaker lockdown advised by doctors not being implemented

Mike Parker recently signed a letter to the Premier, along with other health care leaders, policy experts and more than 400 doctors, calling for a “circuit-breaker lockdown.” It includes a province-wide mask mandate for all indoor spaces, including workplaces. It means mandatory paid sick leave, so all workers can stay home when they’re sick or required to isolate, and increased funding for schools to support smaller class sizes.

“The measures announced today are inadequate. While Albertans are getting sick and dying at alarming rates, the Premier is on TV talking about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Masks are not political, they are about protecting each other, something Kenney has shown he has no interest in doing.

‘Thoughts and concerns’ do not protect against COVID-19

“I realize Kenney and his MLAs believe the worst is over and that the end is in sight, but these measures ensure we will be dealing with this pandemic for a long time. We are likely only at the midpoint of this pandemic. The government needs to do what is most important right now. They need to make bold and brave decisions — a circuit breaker, which medical professionals are calling for.

“Until we have a leader in this province who is willing to go beyond disingenuous ‘thoughts and concerns’ for all Albertans, more of us will get sick, and more of us will die.”

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE