Loading articles...

'It's hard to say, I was not there': Hinshaw barraged with questions surrounding photos of premier on patio

Last Updated Jun 3, 2021 at 4:49 pm MDT

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — It was certainly expected to be the main topic discussed on Thursday, and that’s just what it turned out to be.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw facing several questions during the province’s live COVID-19 update regarding photos online of Premier Jason Kenney taking part in a rooftop meeting with other members of his cabinet.

Questions were raised online all throughout Wednesday, wondering if Kenney was abiding by his own public health orders when he sat down at that Sky Palace table.

WATCH: Dr. Deena Hinshaw provides an update on COVID-19 in Alberta.

“Restaurant patios must have no more than four people at a table, and they need to be from the same household or someone who lives alone, along with their close contacts,” Hinshaw said.

In the photo, Kenney can be seen sitting with Health Minister Tyler Shandro, and the Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon, as well as with three other people.

Hinshaw was asked several times if Alberta’s premier was, in fact, breaking his own public health orders.

“It’s hard to say in the photos, I guess I would say I wasn’t there,” she said. “So, I’m not certain whether or not they were exactly two meters apart, what I would say is that, again, it’s important for Albertans to understand the rules that apply in those different contexts and, again, that two-metre requirement is part of those outdoor social gathering requirements.”

While Hinshaw continued to face questions surrounding the photos, Alberta’s top doctor continued to say she was not there so she isn’t sure if Kenney and his cabinet ministers were distancing.

She also says there is an issue when it comes to being at work because employees are allowed to be working together, and that alone can make the situation unclear.

“The workplace element is a potential complicating factor.”

Hinshaw did finish off by saying she stands by what has always said, which is that it is critical for everyone to follow the requirements.

“With respect to role models and setting an example, I think all of us, sometimes, make mistakes as we are doing our best to follow the rules in place and so there’s a variety of ways that all of us can model the way and some of that is by, again, where we’re doing our best to follow the rules in place, and there’s a mistake made, that we acknowledge that and move on.”