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Alberta NDP says Kenney must reintroduce public health restrictions

Last Updated Apr 5, 2021 at 12:52 pm MDT

Opposition leader Rachel Notley responds to the Alberta governments back-to-school plan. (CREDIT: NDP Livestream, July 21)

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – Alberta’s Opposition leader is calling on the premier to reintroduce public health measures as COVID-19 cases spike and hospitalizations grow.

NDP Leader Rachel Notley spoke Monday morning saying Jason Kenney laid out a plan to take action last week when he said hospitalizations could rise to almost 500 in just a couple weeks. She said she’s shocked he didn’t do anything.

“Albertans’ lives are at stake and there are proven measures that could be protecting them,” Notley said. “I was shocked that Jason Kenney failed to do this on Thursday. He laid out a compelling case to take action and then failed to act. Jason Kenney is a weak and ineffective premier.”

WATCH: No new restrictions before long weekend, as Kenney says we’re losing against variants

On Apr. 1, Kenney pleaded with Albertans to continue following public health guidelines, ahead of the Easter long weekend. He added a lot of Albertans have tuned out and are becoming less stringent in adhering to the health restrictions.

“If everyone was simply following the measures in place, we wouldn’t be facing what appears to be a significant surge,” he said in an update last week.

Kenney did say if the province continues its upward trajectory, the number of hospitalizations could jump to 1,000.

Despite the urgent pleas from Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, no new restrictions were introduced.

Notley is asking for the same restrictions that affected outdoor gatherings, funerals and personal services which came into effect on Jan. 18.

“If he knows our current path will take Alberta back into public health restrictions, then what is Jason Kenney waiting for?” Notley said. “His dithering and delay means more harm to small businesses and workers, more chaos in schools, more intense pressure on our healthcare heroes, more infections, more serious life-changing illness, and more lives lost.”

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The NDP is also calling for more support for local businesses including the $125 million in unspent money from the Small Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant program, and more than $100 million in federal money meant for the Alberta Jobs Now program.

Notley is also asking for the UCP government to speak with teachers and school districts to find out how to keep students and staff safe through to June.