Alberta Politics
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, as he appeared the last time he was seen in public (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

In Alberta this week, COVID’s surging and there’s no sign of the premier – but, fear not, we have a chief firearms officer!

Posted on August 27, 2021, 1:43 am
6 mins

Alberta’s premier hasn’t been seen in public since Aug. 9. 

But he’s just on holiday, Jason Kenney’s spokesperson says. “He is of course still able to fully communicate with his Cabinet and senior officials as required,” Jerrica Goodwin said in a statement yesterday that, seemingly, was intended to reassure us someone’s still in charge.

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

“In fact, he has participated in numerous briefings on important subjects, including COVID-19, while on holidays,” she added. That, at least, would suggest he’s not in intensive care. 

The prevailing wisdom is the premier’s hiding out to avoid having to answer questions that might prove embarrassing to the federal Conservatives’ election campaign. 

Speaking of COVID-19, there were 1,120 new cases of the disease confirmed in Alberta yesterday and the province leads the country in active cases – 9,066 of them. 

We’re clearly at the start of the fourth wave of COVID everyone but the premier and his officials predicted when the government announced we were “open for good” and gearing up for “the best summer ever.” You know, the scenario Mr. Kenney and his experts just didn’t see happening when he was asked about it back on June 18. 

No one in the United Conservative Party Government will say how bad they think it might get. The fourth-wave modelling information Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw promised she’d publish soon still hasn’t been released. 

On Aug. 13, she told a news conference her staff was “working hard on a synthesis of all that evidence in a form that we can release publicly.” On Aug 19 they were still “moving through all of the processes that are necessary in government” to get it released. Yesterday, reporters were told it would be available “in the near future.”

In the meantime, pandemic modellers in British Columbia say they expect Alberta’s infection rate to double in about a week.

Alberta Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Health Minister Tyler Shadro, who has been MIA since July 28, did show up after a fashion yesterday, telling Albertans on social media that there’s no way the province will provide them with a vaccine passport. 

“The Alberta government has not and will not mandate a so-called ‘vaccine passport’ for domestic use,” he tweeted. “But some Albertans, for whatever reason, are still hoping to receive a more formal document,” he added, rather sneeringly. Well, if you’re one of those un-Albertan Albertans, you can print a copy of your not-very-official looking MyHealth website record on a piece of cardboard and see if anyone believes you. 

So while Alberta’s government is not doing or saying much useful about the surge in COVID-19 cases, what is it up to? 

Well, Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson made it clear Alberta won’t be recognizing the federal government’s new Sept. 30 statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Nope, the UCP won’t introduce legislation to enshrine the solemn holiday in Alberta, Mr. Wilson said via his press secretary. They’ll leave it up to employers to decide if they’ll honour the occasion. The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees quickly filed a grievance against several public health care employers. 

Newly appointed Chief Firearms Officer Teri Bryant (Photo: Bob Benzen/Facebook).

At least the UCP hasn’t followed the example of those southern U.S. states that timed state holidays honoring Confederate military men to coincide with January’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Presumably Alberta won’t be announcing Colonialism Day, or perhaps Dominionism Day, for Sept. 30 just yet.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu yesterday announced the appointment of a “chief firearms officer” to subvert enforcement of federal gun control legislation. 

Teri Bryant, a gun collector and former University of Calgary business instructor, will lobby the federal government for weaker firearms legislation and spout nonsense about getting a “fair deal” for the richest province in Confederation. She will “demonstrate that public safety and a flourishing firearms community are mutually complementary goals,” the government’s news release stated oxymoronically. 

Ms. Bryant will begin her duties with a province-wide tour of Alberta shooting ranges. 

I tell you, people, you can’t make this stuff up. 

If Alberta were an independent country, they’d be writing pieces in the New York Times and Foreign Affairs Magazine about how the place was on the verge of becoming a failed state!

36 Comments to: In Alberta this week, COVID’s surging and there’s no sign of the premier – but, fear not, we have a chief firearms officer!

  1. Dave

    August 27th, 2021

    Failed state? Now, just because the Dear Leader may have fled the capital a while ago, perhaps in the middle of the night, and is no where to be seen or heard from? At least Dear Alison stuck around and faced up to the work plan presented to her by the rebels in her own regime. Our current version of the Dear Leader is holed up, perhaps hiding from everyone and everything. Ok, yeah I guess it does look fairly bad. Failed state or COVID state.

    At least we think he is not in intensive care, although I suppose we can not entirely rule out recuperating in a private health care facility in another jurisdiction. Perhaps he will soon do a video in a track suit sitting up in a chair, trying his best to look in good health and in charge. It has been done before by more robust leaders. Surgery, or even rehab recuperation, would well explain such a long absence with so little public communication.

    So, I suppose all we can do is continue to speculate and hope things don’t continue to get worse with this rudderless ship of state. Jason, Jason, wherefore art thou Jason?

    Reply
    • Doug

      August 27th, 2021

      Does it surprise you that Kenney and senior Cabinet ministers are lying low until Sep 21st? They would be come instant campaign fodder.

      That some Albertans invite federal Liberal campaign smears to help their own labor negotiations speaks to self doubt in the intrinsic value that their careers actually provide.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    August 27th, 2021

    I see clearly what is going on in Alberta under the dim witted leadership of the UCP. The UCP is trying to be like the Republicans in America. Guns will be blazing and all. Alberta once more has the highest per capita amount of individuals with Covid-19 in Canada. It will likely be in the whole continent of North America again, like it was this past spring. Wait for it. The head honcho of the UCP is in hiding, as is Tyler Shandro. These pretend conservatives and Reformers can’t face the scrutiny from the public, with the damage they have inflicted upon Alberta. Alberta suffered greatly under Ralph Klein and Albertans fell for his lies. The UCP are emulating Ralph Klein, and it is disgusting how Albertans still think this is good.

    Reply
    • Alan K. Spiller

      August 28th, 2021

      ANONYMOUS Wouldn’t you like to know what she is being paid to be their Poster Girl

      A new Annie Oakley

      These Reformers have always been copying the U.S. Trump was their hero.

      From the interviews I saw on the news from B.C they maybe believing O’Toole’s lies also. When he was first elected as leader of the Conservatives he was promising to follow Harper’s footsteps to cut $36 billion off the provinces health care payments , and scrape the CBC . He isn’t saying that anymore knowing how unpopular it was, but you can bet he hasn’t forgotten it. It’s a well known fact that privatizing health care and education systems is a Reform Party Mandate. I bet it’s at the top of his to do list.
      We now learn that farmers are being allowed to sue the federal government for Harper’s privatization of the Canadian Wheat Board against their wishes , just like Klein did with our power, and natural gas industry.
      I can still hear the MLAs from the Lougheed era telling me that you can’t trust a Reformer, they were certainly right.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        August 29th, 2021

        ALAN K SPILLER: The CPC selling off the Canadian Wheat Board to Saudi Arabia was certainly a stupid thing that these Reformers did. Farmers didn’t benefit from this. Privatization of health care and education is another foolish move, but these pretend Conservatives and Reformers can’t see the harm in that.

        Reply
  3. Chompy McGruff

    August 27th, 2021

    Please, please, PUHLEEZE people, resist the urge to claim that Dr. Hinshaw has been “forced” to do anything. She is as responsible as anybody for the “extra” deaths and life-changing ailments that are occurring in Alberta. As a doctor she took an oath to do no harm, but as a politician she has used her doctorate to give cover to actions which she is confident will cause great harm but bring her significant benefits. At any moment she can stop using her doctorate to hurt and cause the deaths of people while advancing her personal career, or she could renounce her membership in the AMA and continue acting like the politician she actually appears to be.

    Dr. Hinshaw is definitely not an innocent victim in the machinations of the Kenny regime so please don’t comment like she is (I think I may have a hobby-horse).

    Reply
    • Scotty on Denman

      August 28th, 2021

      I’m a wondering if it’d be any more helpful if she’d a quit on principle. It’s still the UCP government that would appoint a replacement—except, in that case, it’d probably include a politically partisan message.

      Reply
  4. Jimmy

    August 27th, 2021

    Incompetent, rudderless and disunited. The UCP’s public face is now that of a circus master and an inner group of obedient buffoons. No Mr. Premier, earplugs are unnecessary. What you say is becoming less relevant and listened to by a smaller audience.

    Reply
  5. Bob Raynard

    August 27th, 2021

    Jason has to be really regretting his enthusiastic claims from June that we are open for good; it is becoming clearer by the day that he is hiding from the consequences of his comments. He must really miss his days at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, where he could spout off whatever he wanted, the media would report it, and no one would remember what he said a month later.

    Vaccine passports are all but inevitable. Between other provinces implementing them, and organizations inside Alberta calling for them, I really think it is a matter of when, not if. Meanwhile, the longer the provincial government drags its feet on the issue, the higher our Covid numbers will go and the more disillusioned our vaccinated population will grow.

    On the political side, it is possible the UCP approval rating will not slide any further, but what they risk is solidifying the antipathy they are experiencing. It isn’t hard to imagine the Premier’s disappearing act, and inaction on Covid, causing a former supporter’s feeling to go from annoyance (which the UCP can recover from) to out and out resolve not to vote for them again.

    On the other hand, maybe Just Me has the right attitude. Since it isn’t safe to go to a movie anyway, we can sit back and safely watch Jason Kenney’s implosion from the comfort of our own home.

    Reply
  6. Abs

    August 27th, 2021

    In this episode of “Scary Prairie”, Kaycee Madu can’t pepper spray his way across Alberta, but by golly, he and his trusty sidekick Teri Bryant will shoot ’em up at the gun ranges.

    https://youtu.be/s05jcrJw0as

    Then they’ll head to the railway tracks to rescue any missing premiers tied down by a mysterious mustachioed villain, while the oncoming steam train of the Covid pandemic huffs and puffs into view.

    Heroic deed done, they’ll round up all the outlaws — that means all of you, ‘berta — and make sure nobody escapes. No valid, official, stamped and sealed vaccine passports for you! You’re goin’ nowhere, and especially not to any Schengen countries that will laugh at your stupid piece of paper. Rumor has it that someone faked your paper “proof” in the name of Daffy Duck just yesterday, and while that might fool some Wexity Western wabbits, it’ll never trick a bunch of old stock Europeans.

    So buckle up, ‘berta. You get to write the next episode of this spaghetti western. What’ll it be? Are you going to look those yellow-bellied sapsuckers in the eye? Are you going to circle the wagons? Stay tuned…

    Helpful background information here:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quick_Draw_McGraw

    Reply
  7. Just Me

    August 27th, 2021

    With the important things, like a raging pandemic and public healthcare nearly broken, no one — I mean NO ONE — from the UCP is even willing to show their faces. So…time for a distraction.

    Alberta now has a partisan chief firearms office, whose role is to maintain a Second Amendment dream land in Alberta, and make sure that PMJT keeps his hands off “Muh gunns”. Oh, and freeDUMBS!!!!

    The problem is that this office has no power or influence over Ottawa, apart from refusing to enforce any firearms regulations, which means Ottawa will have to do it themselves, which will cause Premier Crying & Screaming Midget to whine about Ottawa’s overreach, Venezuelan-socialism, and Fidel Castro’s illegitmate son running Canada into the ground.

    It’s nice that Alberta gets to pick and choose what federal regulations are going to work in Alberta, so here’s hoping some genius in the UCP takes a shot at repealling the Law of Gravity. I mean may as well try, because it could happen, maybe…DISTRACTION!!!

    Meanwhile, back the CPC War Room, Kenney is at it again, making up the craziest shite in the hope that there are enough idiots in the rest of Canada to buy it and make Erin O’Toole. Hey, Alberta has more than its share of idiots, so maybe there are more in Ontario?

    Now that Canada’s electorial commission has declared that mail-in voting will be a considerable thing this election, I can hear Kenney getting something ready just in case the election result goes astray. I mean shouldn’t we have PM Andrew Scheer by now, if everything worked out as Jesus intended?

    Kenney is planning to call fraud on mail-in voting if things go wildly wrong again. How can Canadian vote for PMJT? There have to be something up. STOP the STEAL 2.0.

    Reply
  8. jimmy

    August 27th, 2021

    Am wondering if anyone knows if Ms. Bryant went through a formalized selection process where the position was advertised, a full job description published, candidates shortlisted and interviewed, and the best individual selected.

    A minion in a meaningless position. Maybe we are due another panel, selected and appointed in private, to tell us what the government wants us to hear. Ralph Klein had the gumption to execute slash and burn policies, and to own mistakes and reverse when necessary. Our current premier hides behind the coat tails and the skirts of others.

    Messenger Hinshaw’s disrespectful and contempt filled obsfucations continue.

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      August 27th, 2021

      Jimmy: Well, I thought I’d ask. I don’t have a good history getting responses from UCP press secretaries, but I’ll get back to you-all if I hear anything. I believe a bare-bones job description, rather tendentious, is included in the pres release. DJC

      Reply
  9. Kingsley

    August 27th, 2021

    Everyday there is a new act in our never ending leaderless shit show! How bad can it get?

    Reply
    • Bob Raynard

      August 28th, 2021

      Oh, Kingsley, don’t ask…please don’t ask. Even rhetorically, don’t tempt fate to show you the answer.

      Reply
  10. Abs

    August 27th, 2021

    P.S. When are we going to wake up from this nightmare and realize that our only passport out of here is a national vaccine passport, which our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to all provinces willing to co-operate? And since Alberta’s UCP government won’t cooperate, we’ll be stuck here forever. Unless…

    1. We vote for the federal Liberals with Justin Trudeau as PM on September 20; and

    2. We vote for the NDP in 2023, with Rachel Notley as premier once again.

    It will take both steps to ensure that we are not trapped forever in Albertastan.

    Anyone voting for the CPC and Erin O’Toole is voting for a Kenney enabler. Kiss national vaccine passports goodbye, along with the CPP.

    Stuck Alberta forever, or not? It’s your choice.

    Reply
    • Alan K Spiller

      August 27th, 2021

      ABS. My conservative friends and I certainly agree with you. We have seen enough of these Reformers treating Albertans like morons. Sadly over the years Albertans have allowed them to get away with it, which is why we are in this “Horrific Mess” as Lougheed called it. Norway and Alaska aren’t. I have visited both places and talked to the people about what their oil wealth is doing for them and it’s sickening to see what we have lost.

      I saw a study on the internet a few years ago that proved that Albertans were 42% more likely to be fooled by politicians than other Canadians and boy have Albertans proven that it’s true. This pandemic has confirmed it with fools refusing to get vaccinated.

      We still have ignorant seniors singing the praises of Ralph Klein and bad mouthing us for not being as stupid as them.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        August 28th, 2021

        ALAN K SPILLER: What you are saying is true. We have people of all ages praising these pretend conservatives and Reformers, and all they can do is blame Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau for what is going wrong. Pretty shameful.

        Reply
    • Bret Larson

      August 31st, 2021

      I believe you can print your health records from your My Health Alberta account. With that and $5 bucks you can get a timmies.

      Which should be a nice pick me up after hiding under your bed for two years.

      Reply
  11. Carlos

    August 27th, 2021

    Well I am not looking for Jason Kenney. In fact it would be better if he never returned.
    As far as Savage and Shandro and Deena and LaGrange and Madu, they can all move in with Jason Kenney wherever he is and give a call to famous Nixon for environmental control.

    Who really cares where he is? I do not for a moment have a problem with his disappearance. Businesses, Universities, schools are creating their own rules for Covid-19 and they make sense to me.

    As far as the unvaccinated, it is their right but I also have rights and I do not want them close to me. We all know that nothing in life is risk free but if they prefer to take the risk of intubation and death versus a possible reaction it is their problem, but they should not take precedence in ICU like they do now. If the hospitals are full with people with other problems, I am sorry but you have to stay at home until there is a vacancy. They do not have more rights than anybody else and they have been given a chance to get the best we have to avoid being sick enough to require ICUs.

    Reply
  12. Keith McClary

    August 27th, 2021

    Hibernation of unpopular conservative premiers signals federal election season
    https://www.thebeaverton.com/2021/08/hibernation-of-unpopular-conservative-premiers-signals-federal-election-season/

    “For six weeks or more, these creatures remain dormant and are never spotted in the vast public space,” said biologist Dr. Owen Danby who has been tracking the whereabouts of two populist premiers. “They need to conserve whatever little popularity they have left and not ruin their party’s chance for survival.”

    Reply
  13. Derek

    August 27th, 2021

    This is nice news to have a new CFO. The previous one was breaking the law by making up his own rules for gun ranges. Hopefully on this tour they can help the ranges with the actual requirements and not just one man’s fancy.

    Reply
  14. Bret Larson

    August 27th, 2021

    Slow news day? Need to make up a bunch of whataboutisms to keep the furor stoked in the acolytes?

    I dont get the perverse need of progressives to have a woke license to show everyone how vaccinated they are. Its not like the vaccine isnt free. And being vaccinated doesnt stop you from getting the virus, or passing it on.

    So enshrining a get out of pandemic free card could actually ramp up the R0, as people behave like its 2018. Inevitably, this will put more stress on the healthcare system. So why do progressives want to stress the healthcare system during a pandemic?

    Such musings on the progressive mental state aside. Everyone who wants to be vaccinated has been vaccinated. The vaccinated will bare the brunt of the fourth wave. So why arent they getting vaccinated?

    If a stay in the ICU cost $10,000(likley a paltry sum to the actuality), I’m pretty sure most would choose to pay $20 for a vaccine than risk this expense.

    Sometimes you meet your fate on the road you choose to avoid it.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      August 28th, 2021

      BRET LARSON: It’s not a slow news day. The UCP’s failures are not something that can be ignored. Albertans are paying for it.

      Reply
    • Scotty on Denman

      August 28th, 2021

      Such pseudo-sagacity purported to have something to do a “progressive mental state” probably should be put aside. Contrary to the allegation, it’s plain that ant-vaxxers are the real virtue signallers. But what else they gonna do with a wagon laager load of circular accusations based on spurious allegations, feeling all surrounded-like?

      If you don’t believe that most of those expensive IUC beds are currently being occupied— nearly 100%— by unvaccinated citizens struggling to survive Covid—to the exclusion of other serious needs— or that vaccinated victims, in contrast, are unlikely to even be hospitalized if they contract Covid, let alone be permanently injured or even die from it, then you’ve chosen your road.

      But you also woke up thinking you have a licence to jeopardize ICU capacity on the road away from vaccination. Why do you want to do that—during a pandemic, no less?

      Reply
      • Bret Larson

        August 29th, 2021

        I see the orange necks are the only ones with any cahones around here.

        Scared of a few truisms?

        Free healthcare is makes people use it more. Just one of those, and then what, realizations that need to be considered.

        Reply
      • Bret Larson

        August 29th, 2021

        I get the feeling your thesaurus fell off your bookshelf and gave you a right good ding a ling on the old noggin.

        I think we may be on the same side with not wanting public healthcare to be stretched thin. I suggest you reread my post. I think I’ve hit on the only way that might be possible.

        Reply
  15. Joe Waldron

    August 27th, 2021

    With the rising covid 19 numbers and my first hand experience of the current situation in a Calgary hospital;
    I wonder that UNA has not filed a workplace health and safety complaint citing the government (ultimately
    the employer) for the unsafe, overload conditions brought on by its lifting of restrictions.

    Reply
  16. Just Me

    August 27th, 2021

    Just thought I would close out the week with another one of my musings about life and CONs in general.

    Today, the Liberal campaign in Ontario encountered something that I wondered if I would ever see in Canada, a protest/Trump rally. Scheduled campaign appearances had to be cut short or cancelled because of protestors. These were not the protestors who one would think would be protesting inflated residential property values and the general starving of public service resources. Rather, the protestors were anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers/Covid deniers/Qanon boneheads/garden variety crazies who decided to gather en masse and cause a loud and very dangerous scene. So dangerous in fact that the RCMP and the OPP officers present seemed to be bewildered into the possibility that they may have to physically fight the gathering of loonies. When PMJT appeared, the crowd heckled furiously with the usual conspiracy-laced rants, followed by a litany of expletives. Trudeau heckled back, shouting at them to “Please, get vaccinated” which only threw them into an even more crazed frenzy.

    The crowd, without a doubt, loaded with CONs and their sympathizers were, in my experience, typical of those who lean conservative; that is to say they are, without a doubt, the stupidest, ugliest people I have ever seen. I mean they are physically as hideous as their beliefs.

    Trudeau’s television statement concerning the day’s events was effective. It was an impassioned declaration of empathy for the protestors, indeed for anyone who feels disenchanted by the times we are living in. Maybe “Sunny Ways” has passed and is overshadowed by Trumpian stormy weather, but this is all symptomatic of the CONs’ paranoid hysterics and assault on all that is decent.

    Reply
    • Dfjo

      August 28th, 2021

      The most recent figures, that have been posted, state that average Covid medical costs(in the States) are approximately $20 000(U.S.). As a result, entities such as Delta Airlines will be tagging their unvaccinated personnel with a $200 surcharge on their medical insurance. This is an addition to what they already pay for their insurance. Does anyone know what the treatment cost is, for Ivermectin injestion?

      Reply
    • Bob Raynard

      August 28th, 2021

      What you have described is the unfortunate consequence of the current state of conservatism. Erin O’Toole had to court these nut jobs to become the leader of the CPC, beating the moderate – and more electable – Peter MacKay. Once elected leader, however, the same Erin O’Toole has to try to distance himself from the same base that elected him. Unfortunately, rather than disappear into the woodwork like Mr. O’Toole would like, they are emboldened by his initial courtship of them, and he is now guilty by association.

      I heard Erin O’Toole in a news story the other day, and thought he sounded more prime ministerial than Justin Trudeau. Too bad we can’t get O’Toole without the nut jobs, but as Jason Kenney has shown us, the nut jobs will influence the government’s policy.

      Reply
  17. Albertan

    August 28th, 2021

    On Twitter: a clip of Lethbridge East UCP MLA Nathan Neudorf indicating re: COVID that the UCP is “hopeful that we will see an accelerated case count, with all unvaccinated people catching COVID. This is our government’s strategy to make it through the 4th wave quickly. And to “see what happens when schools open.” Death, long term disabilities, or serious breakthrough cases? Oh well?
    So with Kenney MIA there’s the speculation with him being on a genuine vacation, keeping a low profile to not jeopardize the O’Toole campaign, ‘out of sight’ out of mind’ re: the severe COVID outbreak in Alberta, etc., but, I don’t know if Kenney appears to be unwell or if his photos are iffy, I don’t think his ‘colour’ is good…reminds me of someone ‘looking cardiac’ in informal health care-speak. It may seem that he has been on vacation for longer than 2 weeks. Time will tell, I guess.

    Reply
  18. Firth of Fifth

    August 28th, 2021

    Ms Bryant sure seems to be a good friend to the Useless C**** Party so this is surely a nice plum patronage appointment as a reward for her loyalty. Does anyone know how much this new lapdog will be making per year, courtesy of the public purse? I’m thinking we would prefer not to know…

    (I did do a online check, albeit a brief one, and came up with nothing)

    Reply
  19. Expat Albertan

    August 29th, 2021

    I think it could be just a risky hiding out during such a crisis. Trudeau and Singh (but especially Trudeau) could easily make hay of this by suggesting that this is what Conservatives do with the going gets tough (although that could backfire for Trudeau if his critics point out the risks – real or imagined – of having an election during the Delta wave – Singh does not have that vulnerability).

    Reply

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