Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday’s pandemic-reopening news conference (Photo: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta).

Only pure political calculation can be driving Premier Jason Kenney’s COVID-19 reopening strategy now.

Science? Prudence? Caution? Second vaccine doses? Forget about ’em.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

We’re going to have the best little ole summer you can imagine even if it kills us. And it just might.

Premier Kenney and his two sidekicks at yesterday morning’s news conference on the United Conservative Party Government’s wide-open-by-July pandemic reopening plan – Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer – were grinning so much and talking so fast they looked like a trio of carnival barkers.

They sounded about as trustworthy.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw wisely took the day off. Surely this can’t have been what she advised them to do.

Because Mr. Kenney, who has already gambled and lost big several times in the UCP’s two years in power, is about to do it again. And this is no billion-dollar bet on who wins the next U.S. presidential election. That was only money. This time he’s betting on our lives.

“This is a great day that we have all waited for, for a long time,” Mr. Kenney enthusiastically opened the news conference, exhibiting the kind of smug grin commonly known by a crude colloquialism. We’re finally, he enthused, “going to get our lives back to normal just in time for summer!”

Indeed, the Kenney Government’s hurried “Open For Summer Plan” will see all restrictions lifted by the end of July, far ahead of other provinces, and jump to the next step every two weeks, instead of waiting at least three as elsewhere. The opening phase also will be triggered by lower vaccination rates than in other provinces – 50 per cent, instead of the more cautious 60 to 70 per cent. 

Jobs Etc. Minister Doug Schweitzer (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

Never mind, says Mr. Kenney, “the diligence and sacrifice of Albertans hasn’t just stopped the spike, but crushed it.” Needless to say, this is a conclusion bound to be viewed skeptically in medical circles. 

“With the leading indicators coming down, with vaccine protection coming up, and with the tailwind of summer weather and favourable seasonal conditions, we can confidently expect to see the pressure on our hospitals continue to come down,” the premier burbled on, talking fast.

(Mr. Shandro was talking so fast, indeed, that at times you could hardly understand what he was saying. “Premier, if I can supplement that,” came out of the health minister’s mouth sounding like, “Premier, [email protected]¢#in’ supplement that …”)

“Today, we are truly near the end of this thing,” Mr. Kenney continued. “We’re leaving the darkest days of this pandemic behind and stepping into the warm light of summer. … Backyard barbecues, dream weddings, family reunions, concerts, festivals, birthday parties, dinner gatherings and, yes, the Calgary Stampede will be back on! 

“I think it means the best Alberta summer ever!

There’s plenty more of this, but I think that’s enough for readers to get the idea. 

Alberta may be “crushing it,” as Mr. Kenney also said, on first vaccinations. But what about those second doses, required for full immunity? It seemed as if the Three Amigos would rather talk about anything else. At any rate, three efforts by reporters on the line for the news conference failed to elicit a meaningful answer. 

Alberta Opposition Leader Rachel Notley (Photo: Facebook/Rachel Notley).

Opposition Leader Rachel Notley’s response was understandably less enthusiastic. “I know many people are looking forward to a time without restrictions, without masks, and without the stresses of the pandemic weighing on all of us,she said in a news release. “I am one of those people.

“But I am concerned about the pace of this reopening plan, given that we had the highest rate of infection of anywhere in Canada or the U.S. earlier this very month. I have questions about how the premier decided on this pace, and whether it was informed by science, or simply by working backwards from the first day of the Calgary Stampede.”

Mr. Kenney doesn’t exactly have a great track record, she observed. He’s “downplayed the risk of COVID, he has ignored warnings, he failed to act for weeks on end when the danger was obvious, and he failed to enforce the rules until the violations became international news.

“I hope that this plan does not continue Jason Kenney’s pattern of failure to responsibly manage Alberta’s pandemic response,” she concluded.

Of course, no one can know for certain what the premier and his brain trust are thinking. They’re certainly not going to tell Albertans. So there’s plenty of speculation, more or less informed, on social media and in what used to be known as the press.

Calgary Herald political columnist Don Braid (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Even the Calgary Herald’s Don Braid, who has been observing Alberta politics about as long as anyone in this province, implied the premier’s “whiplash ride to ditching all COVID-19 measures sooner than any other province is willing to risk” is intended to reboot the UCP’s flatlined popularity.

It’s said here it’s actually worse than that. It’s not just that the UCP’s chances of winning a second term will be “pretty well embalmed” if Alberta suffers a fourth wave because of this heedless rush into a wide-open Texas-style reopening. It’s that Mr. Kenney knows they’re just about dead on arrival now.

In other words, he’s concluded – quite possibly correctly – that the only thing that can save him is if he can declare total victory by mid-summer and spend the rest of his mandate rewriting the history of Alberta’s difficult pandemic months. This could be followed by an early election call, the province’s fixed-election-period law be damned.

Look at it this way: If this irresponsibly quick reopening has only a 25 per cent chance of working, those may still be better odds than if his government does this right with the safety of Albertans in mind. 

So what we heard yesterday isn’t really a plan, it’s a sales pitch.

It depends on good luck, not good management, to work.

But then, Mr. Kenney seems like the kind of guy who mumbles “fortune favours the brave” every time he rolls the dice. 

Sometimes fortune does favour the bold. More often it doesn’t. It’s just that foolhardiness looks better in the rear-view mirror because the fools who fail are usually soon forgotten. 

Brace yourselves, Alberta. 

Join the Conversation


  1. It does seem Kenney is tripping over himself, trying to get ahead of himself, once again.

    It is particularly telling this was done without the usual health officials present and only a few close reliable political cheerleaders. I wonder if this was quickly sprung into action when Kenney found out Hinshaw was taking the day off, if he pressured her not to be around today or she got wind of what was coming and just decided to steer clear of it. It would be interesting to find out this.

    It would also be interesting to find out the role the UCP caucus had in this. Did they force or pressure Kenney into this? He might not be the first politician to try portray a capitulation as a sort of victory in our times.

    For our own sakes, we can only hope this goes better than expected, but as you said Kenney’s track record so far is not good. If his over eagerness results in another COVID wave, then Kenney and the UCP will be done politically. However, they might be close enough to it at this point that they are willing to take this chance to roll the dice and risk it all.

    If it does not go well, it will not be forgotten that this plan was fronted by these glib politicians and our medical officials were no where in sight today.

  2. Didn’t even read the entry before taking to the keyboard. kenney is a complete idiot. Three times in a row he gambled with people’s lives by re-opening too early, so now, in harmony with “Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results”, he quadruples down on inflicting his dangerous horse manure on the public.

    I would remind him and everyone else that giving 50% of the population a first dose is only 25% of the way to proper vaccination. 25% is a failing grade on a test anywhere in the world, not much better than being able to spell your own name and making only one mistake doing that.

    The other provinces lay out proper markers as to vaccination rate completions for restriction lowering. But kenney wants to strut around the Stampede like a conquering Mongol. He is a complete sociopathic arsehole.

    Now I’ll read DJC’s lucid prose. Good stuff.

    I have nothing to add.

  3. All for a few photo ops at the Calgary Stampede. it’s time to consider whether or not to financially support its sponsors.

  4. Two weeks ago Kenney had to have an emergency caucus meeting to deal with Todd Loewen’s letter calling for Jason Kenney to step down. It took the caucus 7 hours to decide to boot Mr. Loewen and Drew Barnes. I wonder if this open wide up policy is the concession Jason Kenney had to make to get his caucus to continue to support him.

    Step 3 of the reopening plan requires a 70% vaccination rate. I think I read that about 30% of Albertans are unwilling to get vaccinated. What will Kenney do if we never reach 70%?

  5. Oh brother. Not this again.

    It’s up to each and every one of us to decide if we want to roll the dice and take a chance with a life-altering disease like Kenney & Co. Sure, a major pharmacy chain removed the stickers from the floor a few days before this announcement, as if they were prescient, but we as individuals have a choice. We can throw caution to the wind like the past 15 months never happened, or wait until everyone in our households is three weeks past their second vaccination, then gradually take steps into life as we knew it. I know what I’ll be doing. I’ll leave the trip to Crazy Town for Jason and the Jasonettes.

  6. Don’t be shocked if the UCP’s reopening plan backfires. It’s a given that this will happen. It won’t be the best summer ever anymore, but the worst summer ever. The UCP will look even more foolish than they already are. Once that happens, the UCP will be making all kinds of sorry excuses, and pointing their fingers at someone else. The UCP have basically taken away the ability for Dr. Deena Hinshaw to make her own decisions. I don’t think she would allow such events, like the Calgary Stampede to go on. When the UCP’s reopening plan backfires, and cases of Covid-19 in Alberta creep up, people will want heads to roll. Things will not get better in the fall either. The UCP has a track record of failing to learn from their past experiences from dealing with Covid-19 in Alberta. This current reopening plan reinforces that very well.

  7. It is a desperate ‘nothing to loose’ political gamble by Jason Kenney. Unfortunately Albertans will be the ones to suffer should this half baked plan go south. But Albertans are well down Kenney’s current list of priorities.

    I can well understand why Dr. Hinshaw took the day off instead of appearing on stage when this press conference.

    Don’t think we will be buying our Stampede tickets just yet.

  8. In other words who cares about our seniors, including my wife, who haven’t gotten their second shots. Who cares about the American cowboys who normally come to the Calgary stampede and who cares about young Albertans who are now the ones who are getting covid and some are dying. When you lose a 13 year old girl, a 17 year old girl, a 46 year old guy and a 20 year old guy we have got a serious problem and these reformers don’t care. Saving their ass is far more important.
    It’s obvious that no intelligent thinking went into this. Once again out doctors and nurses are being ignored.

    It’s obvious Kenney is only trying to save his ass

    1. ALAN K. SPILLER: The UCP are trying to score cheap political points, at the expense of people’s lives. It is a very bad gamble, and they still have a base that falls for anything the UCP says. It was the same way with Ralph Klein. People bought into his lies, and the consequences weren’t so good. Despite this, they still defend him. This is shameful. When people speak out, they are called horrible names. This is so pathetic.

      1. Anonymous It’s unbelievable how many of our fellow seniors still find it smart to hurl their sarcastic comments at those of us who aren’t dumb enough to support Kenney. They think being a conservative means you have to support any fool who attaches the name to his name. It really is sad how stupid they are. But as university professors have stated over the years you can’t change them they are what they are losers.

        These are the same fools who allowed Ralph Klein to treat them like morons and they weren’t smart enough to realize it as you have stated. An elderly women told me during the Klein years that she didn’t like what Klein was doing to us but she had to support him because she was a Conservative. You can’t be much dumber than that, can you?

    2. As a husband to one of those front line nurses, I really take exception to the idea that the current government isnt listening to health professionals.

      I think the politicizing of this pandemic is a huge disservice to civil society and will forever be a blot on their account.

      The NDP actions are hurting the mental state of the whole of the healthcare fraternity. Its not acceptable.

      1. BRET LARSON: You may or may not have heard that several ER doctors have already spoken out against the re-opening plan, calling it reckless and predicting that it will result in a spike in new cases of the virus. Are you suggesting that the government is going to listen to those doctors and change course? That will never happen. And yes, I know that Dr. Hinshaw says she supports the plan, but from what I’ve seen over the past several months her replies to questions from the media seem to be driven more by politics than medicine. Personally, I’ve lost much of the respect that I had for her at the start of the pandemic.

        I’d be very interested to know what specific actions by the NDP you believe are having a negative impact on healthcare workers. Surely you can’t be upset that they are objecting to the policies implemented, or not implemented as the case may be, by the government. It’s their job to hold the government accountable as best they can. Outside of that, the NDP has no power or authority whatsoever so what have they done that you believe is harmful to healthcare workers? What could be more detrimental to them, and the public in general, than starting a conflict with the AMA by unilaterally terminating the contract that was in place and changing the rules around billing, creating enough confusion that many doctors fled the province in the early stages of the pandemic? As I recall, it wasn’t the NDP that did these things but I’d very much like to hear what they have done that you feel is worse.

        1. No what I am doing is calling into question their point of view that the totality of public health concerns revolve around covid 19 cases.

          Because the NDP is also pushing this idea, constantly, vehemently and inappropriately they are ramping up the already considerable stress that is on healthcare workers. And they are doing it for political gain.

          Its not right. The government should have more concerns than Covid 19 from a public health perspective.

        2. Sorry, was at work and didnt finish your wall of text before responding.

          Yes, part of the UCP election campaign was to make healthcare more affordable. And this should be a goal for ever government as the healthcare budget is the single biggest government outlay. And they started to address it, and even once the pandemic started they continued. As the people who voted them in had asked them to do. You ask why? The why is so that healthcare can affordable into the future. Look at any jurisdiction that cant afford their healthcare and see what happened during the pandemic. Its not pretty.

          And yes, lots of bravery on the UCP still trying to make Alberta an affordable place to live.

          On a different note, the Liberals in Ottawa seem to have a different approach. They are trying to fire up inflation and judging by the price of steel oil and other commodities they are doing a good job of it.

          Course any existing contracts will become “more affordable” once the dollar isnt worth as much.

      2. BRET LARSON: It’s best if you pay more attention to how the UCP are managing the Covid-19 pandemic in Alberta. It’s a very poor and botched job. The UCP aren’t listening to medical professionals. It’s how we have had the greatest per capita rate of people with Covid-19 in the entire country, frequently, and in the whole of North America, only recently. The UCP’s actions, or rather poorly executed actions, are what’s causing the problems. There is no politicizing these truths. When cases of Covid-19 in Alberta shoot upwards, the UCP will be held responsible, not the NDP. Dr. Deena Hinshaw is now like a puppet on a string. The UCP controls what she says. This also isn’t making matters better. If the UCP were listening to health professionals, the UCP would have imposed a short lived circuit breaker in mid fall, and in the early spring. The end results meant no Christmas and no Easter for Alberta families. Just wait until cases of Covid-19 go back up in Alberta, and the UCP has to come up with some other type of excuse. It will be another I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so moment.

      3. ALAN K. SPILLER: There are even younger people who support Ralph Klein, and they think he is amazing. It is mindboggling how people are deceived by Ralph Klein’s lies. Young and old were brainwashed by Ralph Klein and it’s sickening.

        1. Anonymous A lot of the younger ones were believing what their parents and grandparents were feeding them. I met a guy who told me that him and his sister finally realized how stupid their parents were when it came to believing the Klein lies so they signed court documents allowing them to divorce their parents.
          However you are certainly right he brainwashed a lot of them.

          A lawyer friend taught a group of us to ask them to give us a list of all the wonderful things Ralph Klein did for us and watch the stupid look on their faces. I have used it many times and he was right. They stand there with a stunned look on their face then walk away saying He did lots of things. That’s how stupid they are. I’m sure no one ever asked them that before.

      4. Bret Larson. I was talking to a friend yesterday who just happens to be one of the nurses Klein ran off in the 90s. One of my relatives was another one.
        Her sister and daughter are both nurses and she had been taking to both of them and they made it clear that they don’t know any doctors or nurses who are supporting this new bit of stupidity.
        I am like Guy I would like to hear you explain how the NDP has anything to do with this mess we are in, when this is all about a liberal turned reformer, who has never been a true conservative, who was accused by Klein years ago of spreading lies and stealing from seniors and he is still doing it. By slashing taxes for his rich friends he is forcing municipalities to increase property taxes to survive and it’s our seniors who are the biggest losers.

        1. ALAN K. SPILLER: When Bret Larson’s wife gets laid off by the UCP, like Ralph Klein laid off all of those thousands of nurses, what will he say about that? One of my aunts, who was a registered nurse, (and is a senior) was talking to my dad, (who is also a senior) and was a nursing assistant, long ago, and she was saying how risky things were under the government of the day, led by Ralph Klein. Other relatives of mine, were also registered nurses, and one cousin, (who is also a senior) knew that her job could be at risk under Ralph Klein. One of my older sisters is also a registered nurse, and had to relocate during Ralph Klein’s rule. I recall one of her colleagues who graduated with my sister, saying that she was one of the nurses who has been laid off when Ralph Klein was premier. This isn’t very good, and yet people still think Ralph Klein is wonderful. The UCP does have plans to lay off nurses. Where is the sense in that?

          1. She weathered the Klien cuts. Course, Klein actually didnt cut nurses. He cut the budget and allowed the people in charge of heathcare to decide how to meet budget.

            So if the contention is that those cuts were dealt with poorly, that begs the question, why arent there good managers? There are lots of front line healthcare workers. There should be a good pool of qualified people to draw competent managers from.

            One answer might be, if the management job is lower paying and more in jeopardy of work loss why would anyone choose to go into management.

  9. When real-life starts to mimic the Beaverton, everyone should be afraid…very afraid.

    Now that Premier Crying & Screaming Midget has decided to turn pandemic management into a game of Craps, one wonders what could possibly go wrong? Just watching the usually excessive and overly theatrical use of hand sanitizer over the course of the event made me wonder if Shandro was going to start yelling, “Out — out, damn spot.”

    However, Kenney is determined to save his hide by risking a massive super-spreader event, and he is doing so with the ringing endorsement of every single prominent Albertan, like the person who has a stake in the Calgary Stampede. Since Antivaxxing and anti-masking was so influential in Alberta, what else can the loony fringe gain? Alberta adopts the forlorn Confederate battle flag as its new national banner?

    Popcorn. Need. More. Popcorn.

  10. An excellent analysis.

    Something that struck me in Kenney’s carnival barker routine is his attempts to cajole (strong arm?) the hesitant to get vaccinated as a needed sacrifice for re-opening. The vaccine hesitant being disproportionately represented in his support base. In that regard, Scott Moe already stolen Kenney’s thunder when he implored the hesitant in his flock to get vaccinated by saying: “We’re not asking you to storm the beaches of Normandy.”

  11. So what is the alternative? If vaccination doesn’t stop covid, nothing will. Lockdowns and masking only bought time until the vaccines became widely available. 15 months of lock downs has already destroyed lives and burdened taxpayers with monumental debt that will take generations to pay off. If vaccination doesn’t stop covid, we will need to learn to live with it as lockdowns are nowhere close to sustainable.

  12. Brother!

    The made for TV movie of this pandemic should be named, “I guess everyone cant hide at home under their beds for 2 years and still get paid”.

    And, least we forget, lock downs are killing people at an unprecedented rate,

    Of course all public health direction can be characterized as, “some of you will die, but thats a chance I’m willing to take” but should politicians, yes Im talking about dippers, and public health authorities, yes Im talking about nurse unions, really be proselytizing to kill a different segment of the population by attacking the strategies to try not to kill these people?

    Give your head a shake.

    1. Let me be clear, Lord Farquaad said, “Some of you may die, but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make.” We all know what happened to Lord Farquaad, don’t we?

      I am giving my head a shake at what you’ve written, but you probably wouldn’t understand why.

      1. Yes, I changed the quote. “Pray I dont have reason to change it further”.

        Lock downs hurt people. The NDP are for lock downs. The NDP are in support of hurting people.

        It isnt really hard to understand.

    2. Yeah, give your head a shake Bret. The UCP are fools to follow Texas as an example. One of the best examples to follow is Viet Nam. 98 million people right next to China who whupped US-ass in a land war. Within five days of the Chinese announcement, Viet Nam put in a full no-nonsense lock down for four weeks. That gave Viet Nam’s public health people a chance to trace infection chains and quarantine the infected.

      The Cons and the UCP fired most of our public health staff years ago. Viet Nam put in mandatory masking, compulsory quarantines, and draconian border restrictions. They were back to business as usual within 60 days and their total death toll to date from Covid is 46.

      Oh yeah, and then there is the Atlantic bubble, Australia, and New Zealand all with better results to name a few. The UCP and that useful idiot in Ottawa have transformed what should have been a containable communicable disease into a chronic problem. They had the example of SARS but forgot the lesson. So, enjoy your Covid mutant rodeo and your annual booster shots. It did not have to be this way.

      BTW, the vaccines do not convey immunity like the Salk vaccine did for polio. All they do is make the infection from the first Covid 19 virus less immediately fatal. We have no idea about long-haul Covid effects with or without vaccinations, and it is a mathematical certainty that a new mutant of Covid 19 will evade even the moderate protection offered by the vaccines we have now.

      1. KANG: Very well said. The Covid-19 virus has different variants of it now. We are only starting to see how nasty these variants are, even in children. The UCP is gambling with the lives of individuals, and it will be a nightmare.

        1. Bret: disrespecting, even implicitly as your comment does, the well documented achievements of Viet Nam and other south Asian nations in containing Covid 19 does not pass the smell test, and is not appropriate.

          Back in the day when I was a very tiny cog in a very large planning exercise, I ran across a few young people so rigidly logical they forgot to check their assumptions and mistook their conclusions for evidence their assumptions were accurate. Most of them have grown up since then, but a few went on to the Manning school of paranoid thought. Rhetoric and sophistry are fun, but no use against a virus, and criminally stupid when they undermine public health measures as the UCP has done.

      1. Just to be clear, every public health decision kills people. Even unnecessary screening has the toll exacted by the mundane action of getting it done and errors when you get a false positive.

        If I knew what to do about addiction behaviour I would be a better person. And I know quite abit about it.

        And if I thought the NDP had a shadow of a clue what to do about the pandemic or addiction related mortality, I would vote for them.
        (by the way, that was the punch line)

    3. BRET LARSON: No matter how you try and twist things, it’s impossible to blame anyone else for the UCP’s gross blundering. You will fall short, every time.

        1. BRET LARSON: The frightening statistics have shown the UCP didn’t do a good job in handling the Covid-19 pandemic in Alberta. Time and time again, Alberta had the greatest per capita rate of people with Covid-19 in Canada. In early May, we had the greatest per capita rate of people with Covid-19 in North America. The UCP’s reopening is very fraught with problems, is rushed, and will make things even worse.

          1. Anonymous Bret should have been in my office watching the nurses bawling their eyes out when
            Klein destroyed their careers. I helped nine doctors and at least two dozen nurses relocate out of this province and not one wanted to go.
            Funny how he is finding it smart to support Kenney when after slashing taxes to benefit his rich friends has promised to cut 11,000 health care job, teaching jobs and increase university tuition fees by 40% .I wonder what Bret will be saying if his wife loses her job. Under Klein we lost 14,783 jobs, so he is almost duplicating it . It certainly doesn’t make Bret look very smart.

  13. I gotta say I’m tired. As if dealing with the pandemic for the last 15 months hasn’t been trying enough, having to contend with the endless supply of idiocy from this government is absolutely draining. If this so-called plan results in a fourth wave of the virus I have to wonder how many of us will have the strength to carry on in pandemic mode and how many will simply ignore any future health restrictions and try to go back to ‘normal’ and hope for the best. After all, most of us can only ride a roller coaster for so long before we puke.

    I’m not a lawyer but I did find this on the Government of Canada website:

    Criminal negligence

    219 (1) Every one is criminally negligent who

    (a) in doing anything, or

    (b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do,

    shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.

    Definition of duty

    (2) For the purposes of this section, duty means a duty imposed by law.

    I wonder at what point could a legal case be made that this applies to the current actions, and perhaps some past actions, of the UCP and its moronic leader? I certainly hope that there is a lawyer out there willing to look into it. It’s been hard enough for Albertans to protect themselves and their loved ones from a deadly virus for this length of time. We shouldn’t have to defend ourselves against our own government while we’re doing it.

  14. It’s about this:

    “Kenney — almost jovial at the announcement — said he has already directed his staff to see if they can plan a premier’s pancake breakfast…..”

  15. For reasons not to trust the judgement of Kenney and his fellow idiots, see the “Active Covid-19 cases in Alberta” graph in today’s CBC report:

    Every time Kenney told us we were doing great—turned out, we were doing WORSE than the PREVIOUS time he said it.

    The only good news in UCP Oilberduh’s Covid-19 case history is the vaccination rate. Sensible people are getting the jab as fast as they’re allowed—I had to wait till early May for my first shot, being healthy, non-elderly and not a health-care worker.

    Our only chance of getting out of this pandemic is to convince vaccine holdouts—those who are still open to reason—that the jab 1) works 2) isn’t dangerous in itself (A-Z blood clotting issues are rare) 3) is nowhere NEAR as dangerous as Covid-19 and 4) is the only reliable way to get rid of those damn masks!

    Hopefully that last point will tip the balance of the reluctant in favour of “Well…OK. If that’s how it is.” Then we’ll have only the truly stupid who’ll refuse the vaccine. Natural selection will sort through those.

    1. “ The only good news in UCP Oilberduh’s Covid-19 case history is the vaccination rate. Sensible people are getting the jab as fast as they’re allowed—I had to wait till early May for my first shot, being healthy, non-elderly and not a health-care worker.” Unfortunately many regions of Oilberduh have very low vaccination rates, far below the provincial average. Take a look at this interactive map on the Alberta Health website: (you’ll have to scroll down quite a bit to see it). I don’t know whether that’s due to supply & logistics, & limited appointments, or due to hesitancy, but either way it’s nowhere near good enough.

      1. All true, Jerry, and it doesn’t look like rural areas are taking up the vaccine very quickly. Even so, I suspect we’re in marginally better shape than Manitoba right now–as shown in this CBC article:

        I’m not happy to say it, but I think it’s going to become a case of natural selection. The hesitant, and the obstinate, will simply become the primary victims of the fourth wave. Some, not that many, will die. Others will recover, and tell themselves, “See, it was no worse than the flu!”–as one guy in Ontario did (according to a CBC report on anti-vax protests).

        The rest of us will just have to keep trying to protect ourselves–again.

  16. The only way this can work is if Alberta stops doing tests and thus lowering the new cases count and then following up by reporting any deaths as something other than corona virus. But deaths there will be. Out of 4 million people there will be daily deaths of at least a few hundred people whatever the cause.

  17. ” Kenney rolls the dice on COVID-19″
    “snake eyes kenney” actually works for me
    too bad he is so sure that he will bet my life on it
    and i am so despondent i don’t know which way to hope

  18. My grade ten daughter, who has learned along with her teachers, how to succeed at on line learning ( it has been a process) went back to School Tuesday. I just got a text from her east central high school stating that an individual had tested positive for Covid19 and that close contacts would in quarantining at home. A cleaning crew has been dispatched.
    While I realize that many students and their families are struggling with offsite learning, one has to wonder if the decision to return students was influenced by political, rather than Public Heath considerations.

  19. Doug. The province has never been locked down.
    Bret Larson. The apparent fact that nurses unions and the NDP appear not to be to your liking has little relevance to today’s blog.
    Which side are you on boys?

  20. After more than a year and counting, Jason Kenney still doesn’t really believe in the pandemic. He’s made some gestures in its direction, in the same way a psychopath might learn to socialize by rote, but the compulsion to forge ahead with his agenda, no matter what, is still paramount for him. This trait, I think, is even more psychologically interesting than the superannuated virginity and the toxic religiosity, though possibly not unrelated.

  21. There aren’t too many who are still shocked when these thoughtless decisions are made, but when they’re announced in an increasingly hyperbolic and ridiculous manner, well, again I ask myself: how could anyone with this level of dissonance who enacts with such a disturbing distortion of reality on every issue, ever be considered for the office of premier? You’d think his colleagues back east would have noticed.

    But just as an employer who pads the letter of reference for those employees they really, really want to be rid of, so the ‘works hard at being errant, useless at best’, and reckless always’ are replaced with fluffy glowing reports.

    I’m certain they did just. So !$#! you very much for Kenney, dis Honorable Pariah of Alberta.

  22. Kenney also rolled the dice in his Covid “great reckoning” attack on China. He didn’t win anything, there was merely a response from the Chinese consulate. So he has doubled down, attacking Alberta university researchers cooperation with Chinese colleagues. The “win” is that our “intellectual property” is secure. The loss? Maybe China will think about their $4.5 billion imports from Alberta. Hopefully China will not be bothered to swat this fly. At least Kenney hasn’t used the phrase “no brainer” in connection with China. Yet.

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