Jason Kenney, Todd Loewen, Drew Barnes

Alberta’s two Independent MLAs have issued a five-point plan to try and get the province’s COVID-19 crisis under control.

Todd Loewen and Drew Barnes were kicked out of the UCP caucus in May after criticizing Premier Jason Kenney.

On Wednesday night, Kenney announced new wide-ranging, province-wide COVID-19 lockdowns and brought in things like forced masking, physical distancing and crowd limits. And despite earlier vows never to bring in a vaccine passport, he did just that.

After Kenney’s speech, Loewen and Barnes issued a statement condemning him and presenting their own plan to end the crisis.

They say:

• The government should take a direct role in health care management to immediately expand acute care bed access by opening facilities specifically to serve COVID-19 patients.

Rescind the layoffs of all healthcare workers made due to vaccine mandates.

Ban proof of vaccine requirements and vaccine mandates while expanding rapid testing options.

The government should shift its policies towards the long-term management of COVID-19 by making the health system more flexible to seasonal demands.

The immediate resignation of Premier Kenney.

“Inconsistent and negligent management of the pandemic has destroyed public trust. For the good of the province, the Premier must immediately resign so that public trust can be restored,” the pair said.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, the mantra has always been, ‘We’re all in this together.’ This is not a time for vilifying people or dividing our society with vaccine passports and vaccine mandates,” said Barnes.

Loewen said: “Yes, there are challenges. But Albertans have a long history of rising to meet challenges. We can and will do so again. And when we do succeed, it will be because we chose to do so together.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief

Dave Naylor is News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief of the Western Standard based in the Calgary Headquarters. He served as City Editor of the Calgary Sun & covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years.

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