Alberta Politics
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro at yesterday’s news conference (Photo: Screenshot of Alberta Government video).

Health minister makes sure we understand chief medical officer of health came up with harshly criticized COVID-19 plan

Posted on July 30, 2021, 2:50 am
11 mins

According to Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro, speaking at a news conference on another topic yesterday, Wednesday’s decision for Alberta to become the only jurisdiction on the planet to start treating COVID-19 as if it were the common cold was Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw’s idea.

Facing reporters more interested in the government’s COVID policy than the minister’s insignificant spending announcement yesterday, many of Mr. Shandro’s responses were shambolic at best, incoherent in places. 

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

But he stayed firmly on message when it came to ensuring his listeners understood the decisions to stop requiring COVID-infected Albertans to isolate, or even inform anyone of their illness, were made by Dr. Hinshaw.

“It came from Dr. Hinshaw,” he snapped when a reporter asked him who was behind the decision. “This is work that was developed by those who are in public health.”

This would seem to defy credulity, seeing as Dr. Hinshaw is an accredited medical doctor with a specialty in public health, but since she didn’t race to a microphone or telephone a sympathetic reporter to deny Mr. Shandro’s claim I suppose we have to take him at his word.

The new policy also seems to defy the prevailing opinion among other medical and public health experts – judging from the extremely negative reviews it continued to generate yesterday, not to mention the widespread impression among the educated public that it was driven by politics, not best public health practice.

Indeed, the reaction was so harsh in some quarters that one wonders if in future Dr. Hinshaw will need to pursue her career in another branch of medicine or another field entirely.

“I now crown Alberta as the new ‘Florida of Canada,’” tweeted Eric Feigl-Ding, high-profile U.S. public health scientist and Senior Fellow of the American Federation of Scientists.

“Get a positive #COVID19 test? No need to isolate says new horrible rules by heinously irresponsible @CMOH_Alberta,” said Dr. Feigl-Ding of Dr. Hinshaw. 

Eric Feigl-Ding, high-profile U.S. public health scientist and Senior Fellow of the American Federation of Scientists (Photo: The Harvard Crimson).

“We urge you to reconsider the lifting of these public health measures at this time,” the president and Alberta board representative of the Canadian Paediatric Society pleaded with Dr. Hinshaw in a letter sent yesterday. 

“Children under the age of 12 are particularly vulnerable as they are still ineligible for vaccination,” said MDs Ruth Grimes and Raphael Sharon. “Policies and practices must reflect this reality and prioritize their health and well-being.”

“This will for sure have a ripple effect and for sure impact all of us,” said Andrew Boozary, executive director of social medicine at Toronto’s University Health Network, expressing his dismay at the decision of Alberta’s policy makers “to bury their heads away from the evidence and the science.”

“Let’s hope elected and public health leaders from elsewhere are able to convince Alberta to reverse course,” tweeted University of Toronto medicine professor Irfan Dhalla.

Well, good luck getting the likes of Premier Kenney to change his mind, whatever role Dr. Hinshaw played in making it up. 

That’s just a sampling. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of this kind of thing in the days to come as public health experts outside Alberta become aware of what’s going on here. 

Alberta Opposition Leader and former premier Rachel Notley (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Count on it, though, that if as widely predicted things do go horribly wrong in Alberta, Mr. Shandro and Premier Jason Kenney will be happy to let Dr. Hinshaw take the rap.

And even if we Albertans somehow manage to escape the fate predicted by many experts, distrust of Mr. Kenney’s United Conservative Party Government is now so deep, and not just on its serial mishandling of the COVID file, that Thursday’s announcement is bound to be widely seen as a dangerous gamble with the lives of voters, not to mention those of their children who are too young to be allowed to receive the COVID vaccine.

In this context, consider the release yesterday by Elections Alberta of the second-quarter contributions totals for Alberta political parties, which showed the Opposition NDP dramatically leading the UCP for the second consecutive quarter.

The Alberta NDP raised more than $1.5 million in the second quarter of 2021, compared to the $715,887 raised by the UCP in the same period. All this happened before Albertans knew what the government was going to do on the COVID file. 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, looking like he’s contemplating his United Conservative Party’s political contributions (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

In the first half of 2021, the NDP raised $2.7 million, compared to the $1.2 million raised by the UCP – meaning the NDP raised more in the second quarter than the UCP has in the entire year to date. This continued and extended a trend that appeared in 2020, when the NDP raised more than $5 million and the UCP received contributions of about $4.7 million. 

Among the smaller parties, only the Pro-Life Alberta Political Association broke into six figures, raising $124,000 in the first half of 2021. So Alberta’s anti-reproductive-rights party was able to raise more than the Alberta Party ($79,000), the Alberta Liberals ($57,000) or the Wildrose Independence Party ($45,000) in the first half. 

Surely this indicates that most Albertans see the NDP and the UCP and the only political parties that can win in Alberta, and that many who are not die-hard New Democrats are still willing to open their wallets to try to ensure Mr. Kenney and the UCP do not return to power.

It likely also indicates the strong personal popularity enjoyed by Opposition Leader and former premier Rachel Notley. 

Moreover, the low tallies collected by the UCP suggest many conservatives who can’t bring themselves to support the NDP are nevertheless unwilling to donate any more to the governing party as long as the likes of Mr. Kenney and Mr. Shandro are calling the shots.

Come the general election, of course, the UCP will still have far more access to dark money squirrelled away in political action committees.

PM appoints Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen to Senate

Outgoing Banff Mayor and incoming Canadian Senator Karen Sorensen (Photo: Handout).

Jason Kenney may not have been available to comment on the province’s COVID-19 policy yesterday, but he did find time to prompt eyerolls by whinging about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s appointment of Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen to the Canadian Senate. 

Complaining about the PM ignoring Alberta’s ridiculous upcoming “Senate elections,” the premier hyperbolically accused Mr. Trudeau of “flippantly disregarding our province’s demands for a fair deal in the Canadian federation and the desire of Albertans for democratic accountability.”

As has been said in this space before, if Alberta voters want Mr. Kenney to stop wasting money on constitutionally meaningless Senate nominee elections, they need to vote for Duncan Kinney, the Senate abolition candidate, on Oct. 18. 

Commissioner Allan’s homework is due today 

Alberta Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan’s homework is due today. One wonders if he had to pull an all-nighter to get it finished. 

Assuming the commissioner’s dog didn’t eat the report, which would require him to seek a fifth extension to complete the project, we still won’t get to see what it has to say about “anti-Alberta energy campaigns” for 90 days while the Kenney Government figures out what the heck to do with it. 

Most indicators suggest the $3.5-million term paper will be more of an embarrassment to the government than a threat to its foes. Several environmental groups that have seen portions of the report have already publicly responded. 

CORRECTION: The UCP raised approximately $4.7 million in 2020. Due to a typo, an incorrect number appeared in an earlier version of this story.

42 Comments to: Health minister makes sure we understand chief medical officer of health came up with harshly criticized COVID-19 plan

  1. Brian Gibbon

    July 30th, 2021

    Of course it was all Dr. Hinshaw’s idea. Tyler Shandro and Jason Kenney would never lie, would they? (Edit: would never lie AGAIN, would they?) This is truly the Donald Trump cure for the pandemic: case counts are high because of the testing. Ergo – stop testing and COVID will disappear.

    Reply
  2. Bob Raynard

    July 30th, 2021

    People have commented before about how the UCP government will create distractions to prevent people, and media, from focusing on their poorly thought out policies. You have to wonder if the ridiculousness of Shandro’s lie is an attempt to distract people from the UCP’s latest policies of sacrificing children to their cause.

    Reply
  3. tom in ontario

    July 30th, 2021

    As I read reactions to Dr. Hinshaw’s public service announcement, Premier Kenney is espied behind the wheel of a what appears to be a flashy racing car, a ready to blast off look on his face. At the bottom of the page is an advertisement entreating a male reader to ask himself, “What Happens When You Take a Testosterone Supplement?”
    Does the blogger arrange these ads on purpose?

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      July 30th, 2021

      NOTE TO READERS: Google ads are selected by algorithm based on the reading preferences of readers using the browser through which they are viewed. Ads will be different on different browsers. Mine tend to focus on men’s shoes – take from that what you wish. DJC

      Reply
      • tom in ontario

        July 30th, 2021

        Tom stamps his little foot, curses softly and declares that he will not ingest a testosterone supplement whether he needs one or not. He leaves that to would-be Indy car drivers.

        Reply
      • Carlos

        July 30th, 2021

        LOL

        Reply
    • Bob Raynard

      July 31st, 2021

      I much prefer the testosterone ads to the earwax ads.

      Reply
  4. Jay-El

    July 30th, 2021

    Jason Kenney’s UCP… all dollars; no cents.

    Reply
  5. Dave

    July 30th, 2021

    Not a good sign that the strongest defense Mr. Shandro could offer of his government’s bizarre new COVID policies, is Dr. Hinshaw recommended it. I wouldn’t call Shandro the most politically astute, but perhaps he has enough wounds of political battle now to get this is the political equivalent of the Titanic. There seems to be a bit of distancing in his statement, perhaps as his mind calculates how he might get to the political lifeboats as fast as possible, but without causing alarm or attracting attention.

    Most likely, Premier Kenney had some significant involvement in these new COVID approaches too, but even Shandro knows not to blame or implicate the boss. This is a preview, so when things really start to go badly, the politicians will rush to deny responsibility and yes Dr. Hinshaw will be left holding the bag, completely alone.

    Of course having such an obvious political exit strategy is not a good sign. How successful this is will be remain to be seen, as the fundamental problem remains. Voters in general are more concerned about COVID and want a more cautious approach than the COVID deniers who form a good part of Kenney’s political base. As in the past, increases in COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths will only increase these tensions.

    However, at this point the band will play on merrily for a while, trying to ignore the problems and mayhem all around them. It may be a few weeks or a month before it becomes evident to enough people what a disaster this is, at which point the politicians will somehow have to abandon and scurry away from it. This seems to be the UCP way lately.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    July 30th, 2021

    You covered different matters here, and I shall offer my thoughts on them. First of all, I don’t think any credible doctor would make the claims that Dr. Deena Hinshaw has been making here. The UCP are in command of her, and she is like a remote controlled toy car. Albertans will be in for the shock of their lives, when we witness Covid-19 cases escalate in the province, during the summer, and into the fall and winter. It’s happening as I am typing this. Dr. Deena Hinshaw has turned from hero to zero, and the UCP are accessories to this. Albertans will want heads to roll, as things go awry.

    The NDP did the right thing by prohibiting union and corporate donations to political parties in Alberta. The UCP has reversed the second of those policies by the NDP. Corporations are not able to fork over as much money to the UCP. Nobody has even seen the list of donors for the head honcho of the UCP. With the NDP getting this much in donations, it is glaringly evident that the UCP are in peril.

    The Steve Allan inquiry, is ending up like a dog chasing his tail. The bunk and empty report is ending up costing Albertans a lot of dough.

    The head honcho of the UCP has a warped view of what democracy is. He’s critical of the latest Senate appointments, in particular, the one for Alberta, and slams Justin Trudeau for it. Yet, it is shrouded in controversy as to how he arrived at his present political post. The further proof of the UCP’s attaining of power in Alberta being an orchestrated sham, is when another UCP member, in this case, an MLA, got fined for violating the Elections Act.

    Reply
    • jerrymacgp

      August 2nd, 2021

      “ The NDP did the right thing by prohibiting union and corporate donations to political parties in Alberta”. Actually, Anonymous, I disagree. In banning union as well as corporate donations, in my view the NDP — perhaps unwittingly — bought into the neo-liberal false equivalence between corporations and unions. In reality, they are quite different.

      Corporations are autocracies of one sort or another. Private corporations are completely governed by the owners, whose power is limited only by the restrictions of governmental oversight under labour, environmental & consumer protection legislation. Publicly-traded corporations are 100% answerable to their shareholders, but instead of one person, one vote, voting is weighted in favour of those who own the most shares; There’s a reason a shareholder with 50% or more of the shares is said to have “control”.

      Unions, on the other hand, are highly democratic organizations answerable to their members. A union that decides to support or affiliate with a political party does so after a democratic member-driven decision-making process; indeed, I would like to remind readers that in Alberta, some of the largest unions are formally non-partisan and neither support or are directly affiliated with any political party — these include the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), the Alberta Teachers Association (ATA), and our host’s own employer, the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) [full disclosure: I am a UNA member].

      This weekend marks the 60th anniversary of the formation of the New Democratic Party as an evolution of its predecessor, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), based on an affiliation with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). The NDP explicitly began as the party of labour, in contrast to the two parties of big business, the Liberals and the (then “Progressive”) Conservatives. By accepting this false equivalence, the NDP has IMHO betrayed its roots in order to gain acceptance from the neo-liberal commentariat.

      Reply
  7. Abs

    July 30th, 2021

    Welcome to Alabama-berta. Here’s what’s happening to children in America’s least-vaccinated state:

    https://www.al.com/coronavirus/2021/07/infant-among-children-battling-covid-in-alabama-hospitals-im-scared-now-uab-pediatrician-says.html

    “I’m scared,” said Dr. David Kimblerin, co-director of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at UAB and Children’s of Alabama, during a Facebook Live hosted by the Medical Association of Alabama. “I was uncomfortable last year but I am scared right now for what lies in front of us with respect to our children.”

    “This delta strain is different and it is bad,” he said of the COVID-19 variant’s high transmission rates, which make it more likely for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to get ill and pass the virus on to others. “We are standing in a tunnel right now and the train is accelerating at us as we speak.”

    It’s hard to imagine the Alberta government and its CMOH sitting down at a table and plotting the deaths of children under 12, but that will be the end result. It doesn’t matter if this is their intent, or wilful blindness to the consequences of their actions, or perhaps a plot to send mothers back to their ‘rightful” place (in the home, aprons on, freeing up low-paying jobs for men, that men don’t want). Children under 12 will suffer and die. The UCP can bear that cross. But why in the name of sanity go down this path?

    Bicycle helmets, umbrellas and leaf blowers might yet become the fashion statement of Summer 2021 in Alberta. It didn’t have to be this way.

    Reply
  8. jerrymacgp

    July 30th, 2021

    Speaking of typos … “first half of 2012”? Should this have read “2021”?

    One thing I find compelling about such numbers, is the absolute irrelevance of both the Alberta Party and the Alberta Liberal Party. They have become little more than fringe parties, with no hope of even electing a single MLA let alone winning government. If they insist on continuing to operate, maybe it’s time they explored a merger of their own.

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      July 30th, 2021

      Thanks. It’s been fixed. I’ve been doing this chronically. It’s worst when it’s on a cheque. DJC

      Reply
      • pogo

        July 30th, 2021

        I do that intentionally! I always write gift on the notes line though!

        Reply
  9. Abs

    July 30th, 2021

    New theme song for the UCP: Classical Gas…lighting.

    “We know people continue to have that anxiety,” Shandro said. “But this is work that was done by public health is based on the science and based on the data.”

    https://globalnews.ca/news/8072282/alberta-covid-19-policy-shift-students-parents-teachers-school/

    The problem is not the UCP and its “ideology over science” approach to Covid. It’s YOU, Alberta!

    There is no science without data, which the UCP is eliminating. This decision is based on ideology. But you need to take a pill Alberta, all 4.4 million of YOU! Don’t be a Simone Biles, ‘Berta!

    Reply
  10. ayeamaye

    July 30th, 2021

    ” Once more unto the breach,dear friends …”

    Jason ‘ Rab Haw ‘ Kenney is turning out to be a real gambler, first with our money and now with our lives. In some ways I think the internet is responsible for our anti-vax troubles. The internet and Demagogues like tRump,Bolsanero and yes Jason Kenney. The spread of misinformation on the web is akin to the wildfires burning in the western forests and just as destructive. As ‘ Sleepy Joe ‘ said the other day ” We’re not out of the woods yet “. A large part of the worlds’ population desperately want the vaccine and can’t get it and a large part of our population can get it but don’t want it. When entitlement is married with stupidity you get obstinance and selfishness as offspring.

    I wonder if Jason Kenney is feeling more impotent than usual having HIS choice for a Senate seat being filled by JT.

    https://youtu.be/ZnbOKH9Oe9s

    Reply
  11. JustSaying

    July 30th, 2021

    Looks like a fast moving bus just took out the good doctor!

    Reply
  12. Joe waldron

    July 30th, 2021

    With regard to Kenney’s response to the Senate appointment;
    who is writing the stuff he puts his signature to? I would be interested
    in knowing the physical intricacies of how PMJT was able to “snub his nose” at: democracy, Alberta,
    Albertans, Kenney, and blueberry muffins for all I know.

    Reply
  13. Carlos

    July 30th, 2021

    It seems that Alberta is on the podium of North America political/social ridiculousness.
    We seem to have a new star to join the UCP already famous circus – Deena Hinshaw. I guess the only way we can get rid of this embarrassment is to find them a permanent show in Las Vegas.
    Why is it that we built this need to embarrass ourselves daily with out of this world ideology that challenges the ultimate expressions of imbecility. This is our responsibility to fix and soon.

    Reply
  14. Bruce Turton

    July 30th, 2021

    I wonder, as Mitch McConnell of the besotted federal Senate of the Excited States goes on a hundred radio stations across his country imploring people to get vaccinated, if he and others recognize that the people who are getting sick and dying in ever increasing numbers are Republican voters for the most part. Something that “Dr.” Kenney and Ms. Hinshaw have yet to realize. For the UCP, their ‘freedumb’ voters are still invincible!!

    Reply
  15. Just Me

    July 30th, 2021

    Throwing Dr. Hinshaw under the bus every time the UCP screw up is de rigueur at this point. It’s not like nobody saw this coming, so it should surprise no one that Shandro deflects any blame to the public health authorities immediately. Accepting responsibility is not Premier Crying & Screaming Midget’s style, and Shandro wants to remain on the preferred guest list down at the Sky Palace.

    Now that Kenney has put the word out that all media should never say anything negative about the “Greatest Summer Ever Experienced by Humans on Planet Earth”, there can be no doubt that the fix is in. In the event that infections rise and the public healthcare system is smashed again, no one in Alberta will ever hear of it. For Albertans who wanted to visit Brazil, Brazil comes to you, President Jair Bolsonaro’s pandemic response and mindset and all.

    So, no more sponsored testing, because if you test too much, the cases go up. The virus will be gone like a miracle. Kenney has been thumbing through Trump’s playbook’s well-worn pages.

    And once other provinces (B.C. especially) close their borders and ban travel from Alberta, Kenney will just puff up his chest, scream victimhood, and threaten to shut off the oil taps. Good thing all that “dictator oil” is high quality, abundant, and the price is right. I suspect Kenney will do something completely mental, like have a referendum to consider Alberta joining the United States. At this point, I hope goes completely unhinged, because it will sink Erin O’Toole and the CPC’s electoral chances completely.

    Andrew Scheer sidelined Doug Ford in the last election, because of PR issues. Imagine the Kenney-endorsed and Alberta financed Erin O’Toole sidelining Kenney because he’s a giant stinking albatross around the CON’s neck. Now, that would be something.

    Reply
  16. Curious George

    July 30th, 2021

    Yeah, my initial thoughts on that were “Oh, really…” and then I came across this article (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/deena-hinshaw-covid-19-alberta-1.6123181) yesterday evening and I am a bit surprised.

    And I guess that chat with CBC would mean that Mr. Shandro’s can not be too far from the truth.

    After all if this is not the truth, one would think, that Ms. Hinshaw, MD, would have resigned from her position by now.

    Of course if this blows up – there will be lots of people wearing that one.

    Reply
  17. Sheldon

    July 30th, 2021

    Really! The UCP raised 1.2 Million in the first half of this year. I am surprised there are enough UCP supporters willing to donate over a million dollars after witnessing this governments’ ineptitude.

    On the Senate appointment it is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to make Senate appointments. How democratic would it be if the Prime Minister abdicated this decision to Provincial Premiers?

    Reply
  18. Pogo

    July 30th, 2021

    Our/your/somebody’s Jason is goin’ all in. K-6? Oh yah! Hit on healthcare? Sign him up! Maximum Boris Johnson baffle-gab bluster? It just comes naturally! https://youtu.be/58Amodaf-g8?t=13

    Reply
  19. Scotty on Denman

    July 30th, 2021

    Should Health Minister Shandro be taken at his word that the new policy to treat Covid as if any other contagious cold or flu—apparent epidemiological negligence roundly condemned by doctors and health officials from far and wide—is all chief medical officer Dr Deena Henshaw’s idea? She might not have tried to dispel that notion (at least not yet), but when it comes to premier Jason Kenney, anyone in his cabinet, and the whole governing United Conservative Party, there are credibility issues aplenty to suggest Shandro’s assertion is as bollocks as his pathetic, snapping response is a plain and cringing tell.

    Evidence is too voluminous to list in detail but, the general argument is sufficient to show that the UCP is typically dishonest and that Dr Hinshaw probably has a good reason to go along with the new policy despite most very likely not agreeing with it professionally.

    UCP underhandedness inheres from the federal HarperCon government which, for one of many examples, was busted numerous times for electoral cheating, and from which one of its senior cabinet ministers Jason Kenney came to Alberta to smash the provincial ProgCon party (much like Harper did the federal ProgCons) and reassemble the wreckage by similar means (indeed, irregularities regarding Kenney’s party leadership bid are still under investigation by the RCMP, and punishments have been meted out against a UCP MLA for cheating in the party’s first general election).

    In addition to this well-earned reputation, the UCP has, from the get-go, blatantly mischaracterized Covid as overblown, that safety protocols are far riskier than getting the virus, that Covid is no worse than the flu and, even if Kenney et all would deny reading Covid response straight out of the tRumpublican playbook, such US-style identity politics chauvinistically confirms that PM Justin Trudeau is perpetrating a “plan-demic” hoax to take away Albertans’ rights.

    Furthermore, UCP policy has consistently rolled snake-eyes on virtually all of its policies and, as its spectacular tumble from near-60% popularity in its first election to near-bottom-of-the-tank only halfway through its freshman mandate suggests—most particularly so with regard Covid—it’s in big trouble already and doomed if it loses its diehard rural voter base which, as we’ve seen, has put intense pressure on Kenney to ignore Covid, safety protocols, and vaccinations.

    Finally, it’s convenient, if cowardly, to blame the inevitable consequences of its chauvinistic partisanship, hackneyed policies, and ham-handed politics on Dr Hinshaw in order to appease the UCP red-meat base while gambling with Albertans’ lives.

    In short, a pack of self-satisfied liars who bet on a losing horse are now highly motivated to scapegoat Dr Hinshaw so’s to, hopefully, wring another election by their usual, now-infamous, means. The UCP lied before and lied to get to this point where it says consequences from Covid are all Dr Hinshaw’s fault when—not if—they come home to roost. Shorter still: the UCP is, by at least the weight of probabilities, still lying.

    For her part, Dr Hinshaw is supposed by her professional college, her colleagues and citizens to adhere to the science of pandemics, not the political games the UCP needs to get re-elected. Given the latter is getting less likely all the time and will only get more so as the Covid chickens clamber for a roosting spot, and given Dr Hinshaw is coming under tremendous consensual pressure from medical and epidemiological communities to clarify her conflicted position—or, most recently, to resign her office (indeed, she is ultimately answerable to her physicians’ college, could lose her standing there and, possibly, her licence to practice)—the question remains: why is she carrying the can for this incompetent governing party?

    IMHO, the UCP has blown both its novice mandate and the Covid pandemic so badly it has one desperate, dishonourable, and cowardly resort left to it—and it’s hardly a surprise it’s living up to its reputed perfidy. Unsurprisingly, blaming Dr Hinshaw is wholly unbelievable —except, perhaps, to the most hopelessly chauvinistic SoCons. The reason she’s submitting to such diabolical tactics probably has little to do with partisanship or political pressure —as much as it might look—but, rather, because she’s probably concerned that, if she resigns, the UCP will simply replace her with a more malleable officer—the kind Donald tRump pined for during his disastrous Covid response in the final year of his disastrous presiduncy. Hinshaw might be thinking that she could temper at least some of the UCP’s more desperate moves—that is, at least better than a sycophantic or totally partisan substitute— if she stays on.

    As long’s that remains a possibility, the probability that Shandro and the UCP are the real authors of this crazy, soon-to-be world-infamous policy, approaches 100%.

    As for the UCP’s honesty quotient: it would appear that it’s irrevocably carved in stone. Tombstone, that is.

    Reply
    • Mickey Rat

      July 31st, 2021

      Well Scotty, this is good analysis but proven 100% wrong.

      I think you’re right in that Kenney and most of his UCP are despicable liars running a terribly destructive govt but in this case they appear to be going with the science. You can argue with Dr. Hinshaw and her professional opinion of the science but I suggest a little more research would be required for that. Even though I’m not sure she’s right and her opinion may be a minority in the medical community I’ll take her opinion over a lawyers stupid comment every day of the week…

      Reply
      • Athabascan

        August 1st, 2021

        Hey Mickey,

        Just a reminder that Joseph Mengele was also a doctor. Would you take his opinion over a lawyer’s? Dr. Hinshaw is a disgrace to the medical profession.

        Reply
        • David Climenhaga

          August 1st, 2021

          OK, boys, let’s all settle down. You’re all respected regular commenters. Let’s keep the tone civil. DJC

          Reply
        • Mickey Rat

          August 2nd, 2021

          Hi Athabascan,

          His medical opinion over a lawyer’s medical opinion? Probably…

          But my observation was also about how little value the lawyer’s opinion added to a very important discussion. Essentially it was a smart-ass meme on a pretty serious subject. Maybe he’s said more intelligent things on his Twitter feed, I don’t know.

          And mixing Dr. Hinshaw’s name into a post about Nazis is exactly what I’m on about (I believe this was unintentional in your comment). Everywhere people are being subjected to incredible abuse because of the polarization of opinion.

          If you’re worried about Dr. Hinshaw’s medical opinions I suggest you join Jerry and call her up – just be civil.

          Reply
  20. Jim

    July 30th, 2021

    It makes you wonder what the real numbers are Kenney let slip in one of his covid updates a few months back, I don’t remember the exact one,12% referring to natural immunity. Numbers from India show two thirds of the population likely has been exposed to the virus. Perhaps Hinshaw has access to these numbers for Alberta and is making a bet based on them. As with all things related to this government we will likely never get the whole truth.

    As to the fundraising numbers your last sentence kind of sums up what will happen come election time. However normal donations should indicate the level of support. The pro life donation number is interesting, guess there is money left over that didn’t go to the various UCP candidates.

    The Senate seems to be the only place currently where there is any meaningful opposition to the federal Liberals internet censorship plans. Perhaps something to ask the newly appointed senator..

    Reply
  21. Mickey Rat

    July 30th, 2021

    “It came from Dr. Hinshaw,” says Mr Shandro. Many seem to think he’s lying but I don’t think he is. I’ve wondered for quite a while about Dr. Hinshaw and I had come to the conclusion (from afar but for a number of reasons) that she must support what she & the gov’t have been doing on the Covid-19 file.

    Now this has been confirmed by Dr. Hinshaw herself – https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/deena-hinshaw-covid-19-alberta-1.6123181. And she is not the only medical professional to think this way – maybe she’s in the minority, maybe not. I don’t have the medical knowledge to make her call so I’ll put it down to a difference of informed opinion in the medical community – definitely a common thing in academia. I do have concerns about loosening restrictions, especially areas where cases spike up, but by all measures the Covid-19 sickness rate is cratering.

    Speaking of academia, yesterday I read that a U of A law professor said “We have presently the stupidest public health response to the pandemic in the G7.” Well he’s a law professor and Deena is a medical doctor – I would like to think that even on Twitter a university professor would say something more intelligent than that. Maybe my calling it a difference of opinion is too nice, this sounds like a political statement.

    The gist I get from Dr. Hinshaw’s interview above is “get vaccinated, get vaccinated, get vaccinated.” I also pickup that she would rather rationally discuss this issue than rant over politics which is most of what I see here (but I suppose this is Albertapolitics.ca after all). I encourage anyone who likes to be informed listen to what Dr Hinshaw herself and others say, for example on CBC’s Radio Active episodes yesterday. It is clear that Dr. Hinshaw supports, indeed has recommended, the steps the AB gov’t is making, so are we advising Mr. Shandro and Mr. Kenney to do something different? That would be Albertapolitics…

    Reply
    • jerrymacgp

      July 31st, 2021

      How long will it be before Dr Hinshaw finds herself the subject of an “unprofessional conduct” complaint to the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta? Let’s hope it’s soon… if she is truly the source of this unwise decision, she needs to be held accountable for it.

      https://cpsa.ca/albertans/albertan-complaints/filing-a-complaint/

      Reply
      • Mickey Rat

        July 31st, 2021

        Jerry, I’d be interested to read your submission to this unprofessional conduct inquiry you hope for. No wait – better yet why don’t you just ask Dr. Hinshaw, then you can argue your professional opinion with her. Pls let us know what you find out.

        This is political stuff on a political blog – figure it out. Do you know Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding is also a Democratic party politician? Do you know that Dr. Sarah Fortune, chair of the department of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston supports Dr. Hinshaw’s position (this school is on Dr. Feigl-Ding’s CV)? Do I need to describe who Norman Spector is? In my opinion one of the most slimy politicians of recent history.

        Try to do some research and thinking for yourself. Our host puts these snippets into his blog but take them only for what they are – points of view.

        Paul directly below has it right, many of those points of view are from the self-serving sociopaths.

        Reply
  22. Paul

    July 31st, 2021

    Forgive me for using Kenney as a springboard for a broader conversation, but the biggest open secret in the tragic pageant of human history is that the “elites” who seek to rule us–regardless of what kind of political system is in place–have always been, by and large, lying, self-serving sociopaths unfettered by empathy. I don’t even fully blame them for their sociopathy; all human brains and their developmental possibilities are products of the selective pressure to get one’s genes into the next generation. But this partial alibi doesn’t mean that those of us whose ancestors presumably succeeded in the evolutionary game by using a more cooperative approach need to keep falling for the sociopaths’ gene-promoting tricks. When, oh when, are we going to start having this all-important conversation?! Or have we had it already? Did it make a lick of difference?

    Reply
  23. Just Me

    July 31st, 2021

    I’m throwing an earth-shattering conspiracy theory that could explain Dr Hinshaw’s weird behaviour of late, in regard to the UCP’s reckless lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, right in the middle of a heavy upswing in cases.

    Last February, when the province was *very* seriously about to go to Stage Three and nearing the complete lifting of all restrictions, there was a sudden reverse in course. In the face of stratospheric increases in infections, ICU admissions, and increased mortality rates, the sudden course reversal could be easily explained as a moment of clarity for Kenney. But Kenney doesn’t have such moments, so there must have been an external event that caused the sudden change.

    It has been suspected that Hinshaw intervened and put it out there that inescapable disaster was on the horizon and all would be lost unless there was a policy reversal. Since Kenney tends to accept the counsel of his inner voice more readily than others, Hinshaw must have dropped a bomb on him. Say, Hinshaw, threatened to walk if there wasn’t a policy reversal, as well as a period of serious policy enforcement by Kenney, treating the pandemic as a real and present public health danger, regardless of what the UCP base thinks.

    Faced with a situation that would effectively call into serious question Kenney’s leadership abilities and end his career, Kenney agreed. But since Kenney sees the world as a transactional environment, he proposed to Hinshaw that restrictions be immediately and fully lifted, with no going back, on July 1st, just in time for the Greatest Summer in Human History. Kenney, say, tossed in an offer to Hinshaw for her endorsement: early retirement and full pension.

    Since Hinshaw’s credibility as a competent health care professional is effectively ruined, she exchanged her professional credibility for loyalty and an easy path of full retirement. And that’s how we got where Alberta is right now.

    Reply
  24. Mickey Rat

    July 31st, 2021

    At the risk of dragging this discussion out, a comment on the twitter post by Mr. Ogbogu the U of A law professor “We have presently the stupidest public health response to the pandemic in the G7.”

    When I looked at it my first thought was that this adds little to the debate except polarization. Good grist for the political mill but not much else. Then thinking about lawyers opinions on medical issues I saw no argument in the tweet, just blowing off Dr. Hinshaw. Could it have anything to do with the fact that among G7 countries, overwhelmingly their Chief Medical Officers are male?

    There is a definite story here of people accepting things said based on the assumed status of the author (our host has done this as well) yet Dr. Hinshaw doesn’t get that respect.

    So many are assuming the little girl is being pushed around by the arrogant lying men. Turns out this isn’t true – except for the arrogant lying part…

    Reply
  25. Murphy

    August 1st, 2021

    Always amusing to check in on the echo-chamber that this site has become. I knew there was something really strange going on a year ago when commenters literally called me a liar when I posted figures that came directly from the Alberta Health websites that provide data on influenza and Covid.
    The fact remains that an overwhelming majority of those who suffer significantly negative outcomes after testing positive for SAR Cov-2 are people who could be expected to suffer such outcomes without Covid. This entire affair is, without question, the most successful and comprehensive psychological operation conducted in the last hundred and twenty years. If SARS Cov-2 were the thing you people believe it is, there would be a vast toll of people from workplaces deceased. Significant numbers of families would be lamenting the loss of loved ones taken in the prime of life. Nothing remotely resembling that has occurred. The average person who dies after a positive test in Alberta is eighty years old, already consigned to long-term care, and suffering from more than three significant comorbidities. You might remember from the seventy-five years preceding Covidmania that these are the people who die in our modern society.
    You will never get past this, regardless of the hysterical tone taken.
    Meanwhile, enjoy the gas-lighting of the an entire generation of young people as humanity is transformed to meet the desires of the tiny financial elite. The triumph of propaganda is almost total now that the “progressives” are as dominated by magical thinking as are the conservatives.
    Good times.
    Looking forward to travelling with all of you on our next vacation to low-earth orbit.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      August 2nd, 2021

      MURPHY: If you ever got Covid-19, I don’t think you’d call it fake, or the damage it inflicts on you, fake. It is very dangerous.

      Reply
    • Mickey Rat

      August 2nd, 2021

      So Murph, maybe we should have just euthanized all those old people to spare them the suffering…

      Reply

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