Kenney tells radio host that lockdown would punish people already vaccinated
Premier Jason Kenney rejected calls for a “hard lockdown” during an appearance on a radio program Sunday, the same day that his province's former top doctor signed a letter calling for immediate “fire break” measures to deal with surging cases of COVID-19.
Kenney told radio host Roy Green that a lockdown would make “no sense for the 80 per cent of the population that is vaccinated,” and who he said are much less likely to transmit the disease and are far less likely to be hospitalized.
Further, he said the roughly 20 per cent who aren't vaccinated and are behind the surge in cases are less likely to follow public health measures.
Alberta's former chief medical officer of health, Dr. James Talbot, and critical care specialist Dr. Noel Gibney, signed an open letter Sunday to the province's new health minister, Jason Copping, calling on the minister to take action to “prevent more disease, deaths, and suffering.”
- 'Reduce community transmission': Alberta's former top doctor calls for more action on COVID-19
- Rural mayors battle fourth wave, vaccine hesitancy
They called for measures that include the transfer of ICU patients to other provinces now in order to relieve pressure on hospitals and delay the need for triage protocols.
They also called for a set of “fire break” closures and restrictions for a minimum of four weeks for bars, gyms, casinos, indoor dining and sports facilities.
“We are within days of being forced to implement a triage protocol which will force health care workers to make life and death decisions on who will get scarce resources, like ventilators. Those that do not are likely to die,” said the letter from the doctors, which began with congratulations for Copping on his appointment to the health portfolio last week.
“Albertan's hospital system, especially ICUs are under more killing stress than at any time in the province's history.”
Alberta has more than 20,000 active COVID-19 cases and is seeing well over 1,000 new cases each day.
On Friday, the Canadian Armed Forces prepared to bring in air transport and staff to deal with the COVID-19 crisis overwhelming Alberta's hospitals.
Kenney told Green that Ontario was in a similar predicament with COVID-19 in the spring, despite having much more intensive restrictions in place. He also noted that Alberta took in patients from Manitoba earlier this year, despite what he called a hard lockdown there.
He also continued to defend his government's elimination of restrictions on July 1, which many have blamed for the surge.
“I don't think we were wrong to drop public health restrictions in the summer, on July 1. We saw the numbers continue to go down for five to six weeks after that,” Kenney told Green.
“How could I have possibly justified what the Opposition and others wanted, which was continued damaging restrictions when there was no evidence to support that?”
Talbot and Gibney also called for mandatory vaccine passports for entry to non-essential businesses, as well as mandatory vaccination of government employees and other arm's length bodies.
- 'At the very edge of the cliff': AMA says triage already happening in Alberta hospitals
- Tensions rising over vaccine passports and COVID-19 restrictions in rural Alberta
- Lack of worker vaccine requirement in Alberta a 'loophole,' says health law expert
- 'People are furious': Criticism over new Alberta public health measures mounts
This month, Alberta implemented a “restrictions exemption program” which allows businesses to operate with almost no COVID-19 rules as long as they ask for proof of vaccination. Those choosing not to request immunization records must abide by stricter public health rules.
But Kenney's United Conservative government has been criticized for downloading the decision, causing confusion and forcing compliant businesses to face the wrath of anti-vaccination customers.
“Your government's own policies are responsible for collaborating with COVID in creating this killing surge,” the doctors' letter stated.
“Continued inaction is not moral or ethical.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2021.
Edmonton Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Pfizer has asked Health Canada to approve the first COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 years old. It was authorized for people at least 16 years old last December, and for kids between 12 and 15 in May.
The gang that kidnapped a group of 17 American and Canadian missionaries in Haiti has asked for US$1 million each for their release, a top Haitian official said Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Tk'emlúps te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that his visit to the First Nation community Monday is 'bittersweet' following his notable absence from their ceremony to recognize the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Alberta's two major cities were voting for new mayors during municipal elections Monday after being led by Naheed Nenshi in Calgary and Don Iveson in Edmonton for multiple terms.
As polls in the Alberta municipal elections are set to close, voters in the province have also been given the chance to voice their opinions on federal equalization payments.
More COVID-19 booster shots may be on the way -- but when it's your turn, you'll get an extra dose of the original vaccine, not one updated to better match the extra-contagious delta variant. And that has some experts wondering if the booster campaign is a bit of a missed opportunity to target delta and its likely descendants.
Having a clear and honest discussion about your financial situation and money mindset before you walk down the isle just seems to make sense, but it isn't always easy, CTV's chief financial commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid writes in her latest column on CTVNews.ca.
Trudeau's visit to Kamloops is 'bittersweet,' Calgary and Edmonton elect new mayors, and parents consider vaccines for their kids. Here's what you need to know today.
After heartbreaking and revealing details about the circumstances of her death were announced to the public, Gabby Petito's parents are finally bringing home the remains of their 22-year-old daughter.
Jyoti Gondek has been declared as Calgary's next mayor.
Monday is more than a mayoral race. There are also 14 council seats up for grabs, including nine that will see new council members elected, (plus a new mayor). Here's a rundown on the results as they roll in:
George Chahal addressed the controversy surrounding an episode on federal election night, calling his decision to remove a piece of campaign literature promoting his opponent "a dumb mistake."
A Saskatchewan First Nation is pushing back against baseless claims involving the community.
Details about how the actions of a Kindersley woman led to her child's death emerged at a sentencing in Saskatoon on Monday.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe will address the province’s ICU capacity Monday morning following a record-breaking weekend for COVID-19 patients in the ICU.
A Regina man is facing charges after allegedly threatening the lives of an elected official and an official with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health.
The Regina Police Service has started an investigation after a man was found dead in the North Central neighbourhood Monday afternoon.
A seven-year-old child has died while out on a walk with his mother on a logging road in Nova Scotia's Cumberland County.
Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting one COVID-19 related death, along with 53 new and 138 recoveries on Monday, as the total number of active cases in the province drops to 849.
Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting 72 new cases of COVID-19 and 63 recoveries since Friday, as the number of active cases rises to 208.
The trip comes after the Prime Minister ignored a pair of invitations to join the community on Sept. 30, the country’s first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Experts say to understand what the numbers actually mean about your risk of a breakthrough case that lands you in hospital, you have to look at rates within the population, rather than the raw data.
Troubling allegations of lies and a cover-up are emerging in the electrocution of a B.C. woman and her two dogs six years ago.
Greater Sudbury Police have charged a 32-year-old man with attempted murder following a series of violent events early Saturday morning.
The pastor of a church near Steinbach has been arrested after attending and organizing public protests, the church said.
A “serious assault” in Winnipeg’s North End has forced road closures in the area, according to Winnipeg police.
Manitoba's health minister has apologized after appearing in a photo breaking the indoor mask mandate at an event over the weekend.
There are currently 4,917 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 521 active cases in the Island Health region, according to the B.C. ministry of health.
Early reports indicate that everyone has been accounted for after a floatplane capsized in Tofino, B.C. on Monday afternoon.
A legal battle is brewing between two of Canada's largest defence contractors over upgrades to a pair of New Zealand navy warships in British Columbia.
The Toronto rapper who was wanted for murder before he was arrested earlier this month in Los Angeles is a member of a criminal gang who organized a botched hit trying to target his brother's killer, according to documents unsealed in an American extradition hearing.
Ontario's police watchdog has cleared a Niagara Parks Police Service officer of criminal wrongdoing in the death of a man who went over the Niagara Falls waterfall in June.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is being asked to apologize for 'divisive' comments made on Monday about immigrants coming to Ontario 'to collect the dole.'
Montreal police are looking for multiple suspects after a teenager was fatally stabbed near his school in Cote-des-Neiges Monday afternoon, staggering inside to seek help.
Two employees of an armoured car company were assaulted and robbed late Monday evening in Montreal's north end by a pair of thieves who fled with an undetermined amount of money.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante and the Montreal Fire Department paid tribute to Pierre Lacroix on Monday after his body was retrieved from the St. Lawrence River, where he died performing a water rescue.
The Mayor of London says he will be filing a complaint with the integrity commissioner against a fellow member of city council.
The jury at the second-degree murder trial of Karl Hallman, 30, heard how a night of socializing in January of 2019 turned violent.
After being missing for nearly three days an 11-year-old in Perth County has been found safe and sound.
Health officials in Waterloo Region reported 41 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend.
As a petition circulates to try to change their stance, Waterloo Region’s public school board is insisting they’re not cancelling Halloween.
Waterloo regional police are investigating two reports of bomb threats emailed to businesses over the weekend.