Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw on Oct. 28 (Photo: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta).

The second-most-predicted event since the election of Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party as premier and government of Alberta in 2019 has come to pass. 

The most predicted event took place immediately after Mr. Kenney’s smiley faced June 18 news conference at which he announced, Delta variant or no Delta variant, Alberta was pulling the plug on almost all COVID-19 restrictions on July 1. 

Mr. Kenney making his remarks about Dr. Hinshaw’s responsibility for the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Alberta Monday evening in the Legislature (Photo: Screenshot of Alberta Legislature video).

“This is a happy day for Alberta,” the premier chirped that sunny day. “On July the first, on Canada Day, Alberta’s public health measures will be lifted and our lives will get back to normal. The end of this terrible time is just two weeks away. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true!”

It wasn’t. 

No sooner had Mr. Kenney spoken than a great many Albertans predicted the result would be the catastrophic fourth wave of COVID-19 that was soon upon us with a vengeance. 

But days after the announcement, the premier had mocked such predictions and called his critics irresponsible “promoters of fear.

As the fourth wave slammed into Alberta, almost as many folks grimly predicted that, sooner or later, Mr. Kenney would blame Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw for the fourth wave and try to throw her under the metaphorical bus. 

After all, he had always insisted that his government was acting on her informed advice – even though it often looked as though anti-vaccination, anti-restriction sentiments in the UCP Caucus, and Mr. Kenney’s desire to ensure the Calgary Stampede could open, were in fact driving the government’s COVID response. 

And so it came to pass Monday night that Dr. Hinshaw was assigned the role of scapegoat by the premier. 

Mr. Kenney and then health minister Tyler Shandro at the June 18 news conference on the south bank of the Saskatchewan River Valley, overlooking downtown Edmonton (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

Responding to NDP questions in the Legislature, he placed the blame squarely on her shoulders.

When it became apparent things were going south in August, he told MLAs, Dr. Hinshaw should have recommended additional measures. “Had there been further recommendations later in August to take additional measures, I would have immediately convened a cabinet committee meeting to approve those,” he said. Here’s the clip. 

Of course, Mr. Kenney was nowhere to be seen for much of August – on vacation somewhere that has never been specified, although destinations in both Europe and Colorado have been rumoured. Despite claiming since that he was in daily touch with his office, the government appeared rudderless throughout his absence. 

Last month Mr. Kenney appeared to be prepared to take some of the blame, telling a news conference that “we were wrong in talking about moving this from pandemic management to endemic management in July and August … and for that I apologize.”

However, even then he refused to admit he was wrong to promise “the best summer ever.” 

“I said a lot of optimistic things in the summer, because I think it is the job of a leader to convey a sense of hope and optimism, not a sense of despair and pessimism, and from the perspective of where we were in July there were good reasons to be hopeful and optimistic,” he told his September news conference. 

Former NDP Leader Brian Mason (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

After Monday’s comment was widely interpreted as throwing Dr. Hinshaw under the bus, the Premier’s Office issued a statement yesterday to CTV denying that was so. “The Chief Medical Officer of Health and her team develop recommendations for public health measures which are then brought forward to cabinet for approval,” it said. “It is a statement of fact that expert officials did not bring forward recommendations forward (sic) at the time in question. The idea that his comments in any way attribute ‘blame’ for the fourth wave – an idea which appears to have emanated from Twitter – is entirely without evidence or reason.”

Of course, Dr. Hinshaw is inevitably going to wear some of the blame – if only for bowing to the demands of the premier, his cabinet and caucus for a speedy reopening in the face of a rapidly spreading virus. 

But it’s preposterous, as Mr. Kenney now appears to be saying, that she should be scapegoated for the sins of the government. Even the New York Times panned his performance last spring and summer. 

As former Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason said in a tweet yesterday, “Looks like Kenney will sacrifice Hinshaw in a desperate attempt to save his own skin, but it won’t work. Both are responsible, but Kenny much more so.”

Dr. Hinshaw’s regularly scheduled Tuesday COVID-19 briefing was cancelled yesterday for unspecified reasons. The government says that news conference will go ahead today. 

Doubtless reporters will have many questions for the chief medical officer of health about Mr. Kenney’s comments.

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28 Comments

  1. I don’t know what spell Kenney cast on Hinshaw to render her speechless in the summer, if indeed that is what happened. Whatever it was, it sure didn’t silence many others in the medical community or in the media, who warned him about and predicted the results of his recklessness.

    Of course, he just ignored all of them, perhaps while he was supposedly waiting for some urgent call from Hinshaw that never came in August. Of course, it is also not clear Hinshaw even knew where Kenney was or if she was able to get hold of him while he was on his leisurely August vacation. Heck, we still don’t know where he went, although it seems he was not checking in with the office very often over those critical few weeks.

    So, I suppose the time has come now for Kenney to throw Hinshaw under the bus. However, the clarification from his office seems to go further than that and also refers to her entire team.

    I guess we will have to see how Hinshaw and her team responds to this, if at all. Perhaps all the bs from Kenney and his office has so befuddled them that they have all now supposedly become mute.
    Wouldn’t that be the best excuse ever?

  2. This was predicted to happen, quite some time ago. Well, it just goes to show you that you can’t trust these pretend conservatives and Reformers. Well, it’s likely that we will see a 5th wave of Covid-19 in Alberta, and it will be very bad. The UCP will have a hard time blaming anyone else for this. In fact, David Shepherd, NDP Health critic, was the one who had made a motion for Dr. Deena Hinshaw to be independent. The UCP basically shot this motion down. Dr. Deena Hinshaw basically became a puppet on a string for the UCP. She lost the ability to think and make decisions by herself. The head honcho of the UCP learned from his old Reformer boss, Stephen Harper, about power and control. That’s what he and the UCP did with Dr. Deena Hinshaw. When she no longer was of any use to them, she got thrown under the bus. Dr. Deena Hinshaw was appointed by the NDP. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, she was someone that that they couldn’t get rid of, right away. Now they have. If the UCP gets a Chief Medical Officer that is faithful to the UCP, Alberta will be in worse trouble. The UCP will then get a better excuse (still pathetic) to get private for profit healthcare in Alberta, which is something their hero, Ralph Klein wanted to do.

    1. Perhaps we’ll eventually see a fiftieth wave, although it’s unlikely as the PCR tests are apparently to be eliminated in the coming months. The virus is truly a cunning, dexterous foe, given that the “vicious fourth wave” materialized in the months after the “complete” vaccination rate in the province surpassed 50% in July.
      https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#vaccinations
      https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#total-cases

      Fortunately, Alberta Health was able to head off the tricky critter by sending testing skyward, reaching a daily peak of about 18 000 in September, of which 90% were negative.
      https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#laboratory-testing

      What prompts 16 000 Albertans per day to get tested when they don’t have “Covid”?
      I suppose that has to be left to the experts, although perhaps a different set of experts than the ones who said that SARS CoV-2 was most likely to produce 800 000 infections in Alberta by mid-May, 2020, but could produce 1 060 000 in an extreme scenario, or 1 600 000 in that time frame if we did nothing. The actual total at the end of May, 2020 was under 8000, but you know, still some scary, scary stuff.

      Keep hope alive. The US Fed balance sheet now sits at $8 trillion, so the new War on Something or Other should supplant Covid any day now. Looks like climate, but other candidates include an insidious and comprehensive cyber attack on the financial system by wicked, oh, I don’t know, Russians, Iranians, or perhaps Deplorables.

      Here’s a fascinating bit of lying by Bloomberg on the subject, claiming that the Fed intervened due to Covid, although the intervention began in mid-September, 2019. The system’s guts are full of junk again, Collateralized Loan Obligations having replaced Collateralized Debt Obligations, (so 2008!) and such. They only managed to bleed off a small fraction of the garbage picked up through Quantitative Easing, leaving the system engorged with $3.8 trillion when they launched the bailouts in September, 2019.
      https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-06-19/federal-reserve-s-8-trillion-balance-sheet-will-limit-taper-tantrum

      The Bank of International Settlements warned in summer 2019 that “we” required direct intervention in both the real and fantasy economies, and lo and behold, we got a cessation of credit demand via Covidmania, and the stimulus money arrived, as manna unto the Israelites.
      https://www.bis.org/publ/arpdf/ar2019e.pdf

      Meanwhile, 40% of “active cases” in Alberta are vaccinated, with 33.78% “complete” vaccinated. Thank goodness those double-vaxxed active cases have their “passports” to let us know they’re clean.
      https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#vaccine-outcomes

  3. From afar, Alberta seems socially to be third world in temperament. The mainstream press is complaisant and generally uncritical of the demagogue-in-charge’s overall policy of pimping for petrodollars. Expert educated opinion and experience is dissed for ideological reasons where it doesn’t line up with kenney’s horseshite attitude and social mores. And who gives a damn about those overpaid doctors and nurses and teachers and government workers, now sucking the hind teat of the provincial treasury? And soon to be jettisoned if at all possible. Pay-as-you-go to a private profit taker on every service one can imagine is engrained in the conservative political ethos, while public expenditure is only to be countenanced where it enables the privateers to extract value from something they didn’t pay for but suckered the public through government to provide them for free. The very concept of sovereign wealth belonging to citizens of the province is scarce understood. Any corporate entity is welcomed to come in and help themselves in exchange for a few paltry jobs and a nominal royalty. Long term planning for the good of the citizenry? What the hell is that when it’s at home? Instead the ethos of bacchanalia rules supreme and tomorrow never comes — all involved hope. When the revelry is paused or reality attempts to intrude on the festivities, why, it’s all bleating and whining and blaming those environmental socialists for raining on the parade, and the most desperately insane arguments are invented to justify the continuance of the never-ending exploitation of resources and people. And generally swallowed whole by a complacent populace. Ah, the powers-that-be know human nature well and bribe the people with their own money just enough so that they feel well off. Keeps ’em happy, fat and smiling as they are robbed, and even willing to dunderheadedly proselytize their way of life to others as axiomatically wonderful, so unimaginative to different circumstances existing elsewhere are they.

    Of course, and again seen from afar, at least one major bootlicker of power from the educated class has been Dr Hinshaw. Surely it is not unfair to suggest that she has excused kenney and justified stupid early restriction liftings after each wave of the Covid pandemic, when the emperor himself has not deigned to show up and blather nonsense at a Covid update press conference himself. She has been a good and faithful little doggie who has never demurred to the line by kenney that he has followed her advice. So, too damn bad. Live by the sword, die by the sword, and good riddance. Not for Alberta the type of mutiny by regional medical experts in Ontario that brought Ford to heel there — nobody paid attention to the fool when it became obvious he was full of nonsense on Covid and reality intruded rudely to allow them to diss his directions with impunity. The Alberta response to Covid has been little short of criminally negligent, aided and abetted by the lesser-spotted variety of the rural Albertan mule blinking uncertainly in the modern light, suspicious of anything that makes sense. “What? Me get vaccinated? Over my dead conservative body!” And nature has obliged. Even faced with facts, such uninformed opinion has not changed to any great degree with experience and time. Stupidity reigns supreme on the high plains.

    The Western prairie seems quite unconcerned with anything happening beyond its borders and navel-gazing is the order of the day. The mere act of living seems to happen in a bubble of unreality unconnected to the world at large. Across provincial political party lines the petropimps rule untramelled. Societally, uninformed dolts squawk about equalization and a hundred other slights they incorrectly imagine have been unleashed on their way of living by Canada. Goodness knows when an appreciation of reality will set in or if it ever will. If months of wildfire smoke, drought and pathetic pandemic response cannot do it, one seriously wonders what calamity can. Anyone with a brain should leave the place. I’m glad to say my niece and nephew have already done so. There’s only so much abiding horsesh!t a reasonable person can take living in a dystopia. The palpable relief experienced by those relatives after they came to fully realize that propagandized business culture does not exist in other places as a daily way of life, exceeds even the pain of paying PST. The absence of being frog-marched down a blind alley of narrow regressive ideology uplifts the mind and sets it free to experience other ways of living. Manning would be appalled.

  4. It’s not like this was not foreseen. The bus has been run over Dr. Hinshaw so many times already, it’s amazing that she is still present at the COVID pressers. Showing up at the next presser wearing tire tracks will be entirely appropriate.

    Given that Alberta public health policy has turned into an enormous drinking game, it will be entertaining to see where Kenney takes his special brand of nonsense next.

    Now that PMJT is moving to remove all public subsidies for the O & G industry, I suspect Kenney will start another Alberta Uber Alles rant very soon. Now that it appears that Hinshaw may not be available to kick around anymore, the gaslighting should intensify at a furious pace.

    Get ready for Kenney to start blaming solar flare activity for Climate Change. Damn that sun anyway.

  5. I don’t know why Hinshaw or Kenney never got up in front of the cameras to tell Albertans to rush out and load up on Vitamin D. Numerous studies around the world have shown a definite link between vitamin D deficiency and bad Covid outcomes. The more deficient you are in Vitamin D the more likely you will end up in ICU. Simple as that.

    Locally, a nurse who had been working in the Covid ward told me most of the patients had a vitamin deficiencies including Vitamin D which is probably the most important.

    Instead our political leaders in lockstep with the medical establishment have been hellbent on getting everyone jabbed with a vaccine that has been rushed into production. Trust us, they say, they are safe and will protect you. Which is not a surprise. Western industrial medicine has been geared towards vaccines for decades. Got a nasty virus going around that’s playing havoc. Let’s invent a vaccine for it. Ignore your grandma’s who’s telling you to get plenty of rest and take vitamin D. What medical school did she graduate from? Boy, we’ve got the vaccine for you.

    Meanwhile, there’s been a steady stream of people who had already been vaccinated showing up on Covid wards. I’m willing to bet these people have vitamin D deficiency.

    1. Gee Dr RonMac, you left out Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, internal UV treatment and bleach enemas in your prescription to cure Covid-19. Maybe try prescribing your patients apricot pits for their Laetrile which worked so well to cure cancer back in the ’70s. You should also think about going into TV like Dr Phil to communicate your knowledge to the masses. Heck, even Jason might see the value in your prescriptions and promote you to Chief Medical Officer. Chicken soup for all! Win-win.

      1. I don’t know about Covid, but doctors are finding that Ivermectin is very effective at treating people with elevated levels of IQ. None of the people I know that have used it have a high IQ problem.

      2. Mr. Perfect. Surprising enough my son got covid and the first thing the doctors told him to do was to start taking massive amounts of vitamin D so your remarks look rather stupid, don’t you think?

        1. No Alan K, vitamin D, while important isn’t a cure all and a substitute for vaccines when it comes to viruses our bodies have no natural defences against. I would think there has been too many deaths of Albertans, Canadians and people across the planet which shows medical science is correct and RonMac is not.

  6. Yes, it was inevitable, given the how craven and dishonest Premier Bumbles is, that he would sacrifice Dr. Hinshaw on the pedestal of his incompetence. Brian Mason is also correct that both Bumbles and Dr. Hinshaw need to wear this blame, but the majority portion of that blame is Kenney’s to wear. You did not have to be an expert to see that many experts both within and without the province were saying, if not yelling at the top of their lungs, that relaxing Covid restrictions for summer was a terrible idea.

    Kenney has made many missteps throughout this crisis, including a botched vaccine passport rollout and leaving federal assistance on the table. Dr. Hinshaw has no doubt made a few missteps herself. My own view is that she should resign, and show Bumbles a good example to follow. But, that would give Bumbles what he really wants – someone to put on the sackcloth for him and make the sacrifice for his sins to get him out of this mess.

    Say what you will about Doug Ford. At least Ontario did a good thing by putting together a panel of experts that made public recommendations backed up by transparent data. Ford could ignore the recommendations of the panel, but he was accountable in a way that Bumbles apparently believes he is not. But, regardless, Bumbles is still accountable. His craven behavior regarding Dr. Hinshaw is yet one more reason, among many, that he does not have the competence or moral and ethical character to lead a province.

    1. I would just add a sentence to describe little Jason: He does not possess the moral compass nor ethical character to even partially admit that he misjudged a situation nor the moral ethics that allows him to blame everyone but himself for anything!!!

  7. Let’s recall that the former CMOH, Dr. Talbot, and several doctors (as far back as in 2020) were invoking Dr. Hinshaw to bring in stricter measures. It was pointed out then that she had the authority to override the government’s softer restrictions.

    Kenney doesn’t get off the hook either, as he repeatedly pandered to his base. He ignored both the data and science that showed opening up too soon would bring another massive (4th) wave. Best Summer Ever was a monumentally disastrous plan and the UCP can never live that down. It was amplified by Kenney’s mysterious vacation time and leaving no one in charge. What a boondoggle!

  8. According to the provincial government website the the Chief Medical Officer of Health reports to the Deputy Minister of Health and in extraordinary situations may report directly to the Minister of Health.
    In the summer of 2020 concern and conversation around Covid’s second wave became common. In September that year the Prime Minister during an address to to the nation indicated that the second wave of Covid had begun in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. During Dr. Hinshaw’s subsequent daily address/update she stated “…there are some provinces who have themselves determined that they are beginning what they are calling a second wave. But in Alberta I don’t think that’s where we are right now.” This was obviously reporting of political nature made not to the Minister, but to the people of Alberta. If he is cutting her loose I am not sure if the Minister and his deputy will want to act as buffers and willingly put themselves in the firing line. She’s served him well. A future MLA?

  9. Although there is plenty of blame to be shared, I would like to have the CMOH recommendations publicly published daily. Then we could have a better understanding of just who was making the decisions.

  10. As for me, I’ll just keep singing that famous song that took on renewed popularity during the Great Depression, “Keep on the Sunny Side”. It’s what Dear Leader would want.

  11. How to make little house on the prairie covid
    take a petty tyrant
    add a captive susceptible to Stockholm syndrome
    add snake OIL and GAS lighting
    embolden after escaping having rigged an election
    remove any connection to reality
    bake in a climate change heat dome
    douse with afternoon sky palace alcohol
    serve wave after wave
    ….it was the only thing to eat during the best summer ever
    please stay tuned for our christmas and new year recipes

  12. I am not trying to defend DH, but does anyone actually think that JK would have even taken her phone call on his European Vacation. The escalation of commitment as so great that he was open for business and that was it!

    On a side note it looks Mr. Legault in Quebec is getting a taste of his own medicine. He is not too happy with Maine turning down his utility line, but always happy to slag Alberta pipelines. The worm has turned!

  13. In days long past when the public was far less tolerant of snake oil salesmen, and flim flam men more generally, political grifters such as Jason Kenney would have been tarred, feathered, and then rode out on a rail. Now the public patiently waits out the 4 year term to ‘send a message’ to the scoundrel that is then rewarded with a pension for life.

    What a sham system we have that continues to reward the self serving stupidity that accompanies the gross incompetence of shameless political reprobates.

    1. If I thought they were stupid, I would have a lot more sympathy for them. Both Premier Kenny and Dr. Hinshaw are intelligent adults. They were fully capable of understanding how this would play out, therefore, are fully culpable for their actions. Luckily for them, they live in a country where laws only apply to people who can’t afford skilled attorneys. They will face no consequences, no matter how many of us die.

  14. Should Dr Hinshaw have resigned when (or if) she discovered the UCP government’s Covid policy was foolhardy? What would have happened if she had?

    Had she resigned, presumably after stating why (that UCP policy was playing partisan politics instead of proper epidemiology—or maybe to ‘spend more time with her family’), what would it be like for her successor (for surely there would be one in order to liaise with federal and other jurisdictions)? Would citizens trust anyone they suspected of being the premier’s puppet (for surely he or she would be perceived as such—and it’s likely Kenney would have appointed a more obedient chief medical officer in the wake of an embarrassing and, probably, condemning resignation).

    Consider Hinshaw’s perspective and point of view: did she do her best in the circumstances partly to preclude a completely partisan sycophant replacing her? Or has she been a willing co-conspirator as many seem to accuse? I think the Stampede “opening up” substantially undercut the argument that she acts as a brake on a reckless governing party which, without her services, would have been worse: opening up was the dumbest thing the government could do and, if Hinshaw thought she was performing an effective counterweight hitherto, she probably realized she’d failed by Stampede time.

    Anywhere one goes, at least half of Covid response is political—not (with notorious exceptions) in a partisan way, but in the sense of keeping the populace calm and cooperative (without which, any epidemiological program would be for nought). Here in BC we have Dr Bonnie Henry’s naturally calm, measured style of speaking which she uses to do some politics—in this limited way— herself: ‘be careful, calm and kind to each other’. Doing otherwise results in catastrophe—of which we have plenty of examples now. The demeanour of the chief medical officer is a vital political tool, even when the doctor sticks primarily to epidemiology. Notably, this isn’t commutative: the politician taking an epidemiological role—aside from deferring to the best medical advice—is not recommended. Unless you like contributing to super-spreader rallies while chugging on a jug of chlorox.

    The government leader is primarily a Covid policy salesperson who depends heavily on the trust citizens have in their chief medical officer. There’s no argument that Dr Hinshaw maintains a calm demeanour—polished, even in the extremis of watching the Stampede opening-up turn into an entirely avoidable disaster. But what is any subordinate supposed to do when the higher authority flouts pandemic protocols? It’s fair enough to ask if she fulfills the public relations aspect of getting citizens to comply with stock Covid policy—or if she ever has.

    Many Albertans have followed Mayor Nenshi’s advice and watched out for themselves when provincial policy has failed. Meanwhile, replacing Dr Hinshaw is fraught with difficulties. But everybody knows who is ultimately responsible. I feel for her because, knowing her boss, she will be thrown under the bus as often as he needs her to be. Maybe that’s why she’s still there, from Kenney’s point of view. One can imagine she’s not friends with the premier, but too many seem to imagine that, if she’s been putting up with the many indignities K-Boy has saddle her with so far, then she is likely in league, of a like mind, or perhaps financially benefited. I think those suspicions are prejudicial and unfair—more likely, by razor, the kind of rumour-mongering that stressful times foment.

    While K-Boy tries to wiggle out of culpability, Hinshaw might try to reduce her exposure by claiming that she calculated, once the premier realized the Stampede opening-up was a failure, she could resume pursuing a better course. That would, naturally, discount those who might not have died if protocols had remained in place.

    Unfortunately for her, Kenney’s excuses —especially that he defines a premier’s priority to “convey a sense of hope and optimism” —but also to dismiss critical pandemic protocols as merely pessimism fomented by dark forces— are the epitome of foolhardiness. It is simply impossible for an ostensibly impartial medical scientist to stickhandle around this kind of self-serving cynicism and cavalier behaviour. But it appears Hinshaw presumed the excuse that somebody’s gotta do it—or at least be the face on the TV. That’s essential to the political narrative required to keep order, for sure. Too bad Dr Jason Khaos keeps running interference. Recall that even though presidunce tRump vilified Dr Fauchi for contradicting his totally partisan Covid response, he never got rid of the good doctor(Fox, OAN and other supposed ‘news media’ piled on). With typical perversity, tRump understood the reassuring effect Dr Fauchi had while America’s worst presidunce ever brought out the reactionary worst from tRumpublican chauvinists: he did it by reversing roles, accusing the good doctor of complicity in a politically partisan conspiracy while assuming himself the doctor’s (bleached) white coat, as ‘t were. tRumpublicans are suckers for shell games: Fauchi’s a Democratic Party hack and tRump’s a medical doctor.

    Again, could any doctor have forced Kenney to do the right thing? Perhaps one day—“when this is all over” (my own optimism has more to do with leaning to live with annual Covid booster shots, continual hand-sanitizing, and mask-wearing in close quarters)—Dr Hinshaw will enlighten us as to her personal observations of this sorriest chapter of a sorry regime. But, professionally, she probably never will, even as her reputation is sullied by association with the politically toxic aspect of this pandemic, and particularly with a certain politician who is really most to blame. Still, she watched Dr Fauchi brave the slings and arrows and she declined to do the same. She might have been encouraged by the fact that Kenney usually aped tRump, that he would not, therefore, fire her—but she appears not to be made of the same stuff as Sir Anthony the Good.

    As if it needs reminding, scapegoating and blaming should be postponed while everybody (of the willing) focuses on tamping down the fourth wave else, at this rate, my Alberta friends, you find yourselves in a sixth wave while assigning blame on your 2023 ballots. Pray that doesn’t happen—just don’t pray to Jason Kenney.

    I know it’s not always possible for a lot of Albertans to follow Nenshi’s advice: one might be officially compelled to work in an epidemiologically unsafe environment because of the UCP’s bungling policy. All I can say is: stay safe as you can. I rather doubt I have to remind that you’d be smart to assume your government will not look out for your safety. The UCP makes a lot out of getting government out of citizens’ lives, but Covid should have, by now, disabused anybody who believed it. Politics is an essential part of the Covid battle. Just not partisan ideology.

    Good luck, my friends.

    1. If Dr. Hinshaw had resigned, it would certainly have changed one thing – she would not bear the responsibility of her actions over the pandemic. The argument, “if I don’t do it somebody else will” is rebutted by the statement, “if someone else had done it, we would be prosecuting them today instead of you.”

      I do agree that scapegoating and blaming ought to take a backseat to saving the lives of Albertans. That said, it seems to me that a new Premier and a new Chief Medical Officer would probably save a lot of Alberta lives. Also, setting the precedent that politicians who knowingly kill off Albertans on purpose will face legal repercussions will also likely save Albertan lives.

  15. It appears Dr. Hinshaw is sticking to her story and hiding behind her oath (of cabinet confidentiality) to prevent further elaboration on her position.

    Kenney, of course, denies he said anything disparaging about Dr. Hinshaw, though he did say something of that kind in the Legislature.

    I guess Kenney forgot that there’s something called the Hansard.

  16. The dyed in the wool UCPers will buy this hook, line and sinker. In fact, they are desperate for this. It takes some of the tarnish off of their Leader.

    Others, clear thinking Albertans, will see it for what it is. A sham by a cowardly Premier who will do anything to remain firstly as UCP Leader and secondly as Premier.

    Until that is….he can find a soft landing for himself that does not involve a great deal of public humiliation. No doubt Preston Manning or Stephen Harper may have some ideas for Jason. Besides resign.

  17. Brilliant move, Jason. Plan the heist, then duck out while the crime is committed—by someone else. When the cops lift the fingerprints, hey guess what—they ain’t yours! Plausible deniability!

    Except this isn’t a heist movie. Worse, the “crime” was committed in public, by Jason Kenney, in front of God and everybody. “Best summer ever!” Listen to those cheers! UCP forever! “JA-SON! JA-SON! JA-SON!” “Git yer spurs on and shine up the Stetson, Martha, we’re goin’ to the Stampede!” Warnings? What warnings? Yee-ha! After all, the Premier’s job is to be optimistic, right? Sunny days! (Oh, wait, wrong leader.) Jason “Pollyanna” Kenney will save us all!

    Well, except for the ones who happened to die because they believed Jason “it’s over! It’s really over!” Kenney. Everybody who’d been paying attention for the previous 18 months knew what was coming. Then there’s the 30% who still believe in the UCP. Deniability doesn’t have to be plausible for that bunch. Just tell ’em it’s somebody else’s fault, not theirs and not yours.

    Honestly, I cannot imagine why Hinshaw didn’t quit long ago. As Scotty on Denman—correctly–pointed out, all the speculation on why Hinshaw has remained CMOH is both uninformed and, really, no better than so many conspiracy theories. They’re fun to dream up, but only Hinshaw herself knows why she hasn’t quit. (And the truth is, her reasons are none of our business.)

    Still, I’ve stopped paying any attention to the Covid briefings. Hinshaw’s been reduced to reciting case numbers and spouting platitudes. Kenney and his fellow-idiots never said anything I needed to hear (unless it’s “I quit”), and I wouldn’t believe them anyway.

    I know too damn well Covid-19 is still around. We’ll be living with masks, physical distancing and hand sanitizer for at least another year. Maybe some time after the REST OF THE WORLD is finally vaccinated, Covid-19 will recede to just another endemic annual illness. Until then, well, I can’t hold my breath. But whenever I go out, I’ll be breathing through a mask.

  18. We will all know the truth once Dr. Hinshaw suddenly announces her retirement at the end of this year.

    Did she demand early retirement and her full pension in exchange for endorsing Kenney’s special brand of stupid?

    At this point. I will not be surprised if my fantastic claim comes to pass.

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