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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney dismisses criticism that he has waited too long to introduce tougher measures against COVID-19 as “Alberta bashing.”
The comment came in a radio interview Wednesday with Edmonton radio station CHED. Kenney praised the response to the Alberta pandemic in the spring, especially when Edmonton hosted the National Hockey League playoffs in an isolation “bubble”.
This prompted host Shaye Ganam to intervene: “Premier Kenney, with all due respect, you talk about things that happened several months ago, and we’re in a drastically different situation now.
“Things are much, much worse when you talk about our record in terms of responding to the pandemic. It is among the worst, especially in Canada.
Kenney replied, “I don’t accept the Alberta bashing that’s going on here.”
The premier said not all of the people who make up Alberta’s high number of COVID-19 cases end up getting sick. He said comparable jurisdictions face similar rates and the key measure is the death rate.
“The truth is that the death rate from COVID cases in Alberta, which is the most important statistic, is significantly lower than that of Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and barely ahead of British Columbia,” said Kenney said.
On Tuesday, the prime minister refused to take responsibility for the growing workload at a press conference where he announced tougher public health measures.
“From a health perspective, it is clear that your approach has not worked to date and has arguably even cost people their lives. Do you acknowledge your responsibility and apologize for the way you handled the second wave of the pandemic? Asked Sammy Hudes, reporter for Postmedia.
“It sounds a lot more like an NDP speech than a media question, Sammy,” replied the United Conservative Prime Minister. “I reject the whole premise of your question.
“You just joined people doing drive-thru smears in Alberta.”