Betrayal, division, a dishonest play on words, and selective presentation of facts – that sums up Wednesday’s Kenney/Shandro/Hinshaw/Yui circus.
Let’s not forget this cowardly quartet’s sleazy attempt to deflect blame, and redirect the wrath their failings deserve onto unvaccinated Albertans by trying to pit frightened, frustrated fellow Albertans against them.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, flanked by the nodding three — Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and the astonishingly well-paid health services CEO Verna Yui — declared a state of public health emergency and yet another, harsher lockdown. That now makes four.
They took it upon themselves to seize absolute control of the lives of Albertans, while thumbing a collective nose at the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Hinshaw sprinkled herself with hand sanitizer every time she trotted up to the podium. Cheap, unnecessary theatrics. Presumably, the three people beside her are all vaccinated, therefore, pose no risk to her health.
Alberta enacted stronger province-wide public health restrictions and a “restrictions exemptions program” to combat the fourth wave of COVID-19 and apparently avoid a maybe, potential, possible collapse of the healthcare system within 10 days.
I’ve been willing to give Kenney the benefit of the doubt on his handling of COVID-19, despite the relentless attacks against him by the chronically loose with the truth and nasty NDP.
Not anymore. He sold out. He betrayed Albertans. He threw existing laws in the garbage. He lied.
So much for his jubilant declarations that “Alberta is open for good” and no more lockdowns, no more throwing pastors in jail, no more masks, no more harassing kids playing outdoors, no more crippling fines, etc.
Kenney didn’t even have the courage to call his “restrictions exemptions program” what it really is — a vaccine passport system that comes into full effect September 20.
That’s because Kenney repeatedly vowed he would never, ever bring in vaccine passports.
He thumped his little chest and declared he’d protect Albertans if the federal government dared try to inflict such a draconian measure on them. He even said a vaccine passport would contravene the Health Information Act and the Freedom and Privacy Act.
And he crowed the Alberta government amended the Public Health Act to block the government from forcing people to be vaccinated.
Not dumb enough to flout the law he toughened, Kenney assured Albertans Wednesday that he would not force vaccinations.
Instead, he manipulated Albertans to turn on the unvaccinated whose religious beliefs, health concerns, legitimate worries about unknown long-term effects of COVID-19 vaccines, or immunity from having had COIVD-19 matter not.
He targeted the unvaccinated by trying to get fellow Albertans to do his dirty work and ostracize, pressure, lash out at them until they obey.
As premier, he should be protecting jobs. Instead, his actions threaten the livelihood of Albertans who won’t buckle to his ever-changing whims. That includes health care workers, the heroes who have carried Albertans through the pandemic.
The health care system is on the verge of maybe collapsing. It’s the fault of the unvaccinated. Cancelled surgeries. Unleash the hounds on all who won’t take the jab.
The quartet was big on startling numbers: 218 COVID patients in ICU, 877 in hospital, 18,421 active cases, 1,434 new cases reported Tuesday, a death an hour Wednesday.
Hinshaw said 90% of new ICU admissions are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. And they left it at that. Pre-existing conditions? Age? Other mitigating factors? Never mind.
They certainly didn’t dwell too much on the fact a percentage of the new cases involve the vaccinated.
Absent from the press conference was any mention of the number of people — especially young males in Alberta — hospitalized or in intensive care due to serious reactions from the vaccines. Nope, those numbers aren’t available. Health care professionals are forbidden to talk about this, but it’s happening. I dare them to refute this.
Kenney introduced a host of tough new mandates that infringe on freedom and will hurt businesses.
But the one that should have parents in an uproar is his arbitrary decision to order mandatory masks for students in Gr. 4 and up.
Despite all the studies showing masks pose serious health risks to children, he deems they must be muzzled like dogs.
People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier called Kenney a despot in response to this new crackdown. Bernier is far too kind.
This time Kenney went too far. Alberta’s been beaten up and let down and messed around with enough.
They deserve better.
Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
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