CALGARY – Despite the daily COVID-19 case counts spiking with most of last week seeing over 1,000 cases per day, the United Conservative Party is still selling “Best Summer Ever — Alberta 2021” hats on its website.
Since June, Alberta Health has attributed 133 people’s deaths to COVID-19.
Full death count graph from Alberta Health (between May 19, 2021 and Aug 26): pic.twitter.com/TtZHFqn7pc
— Saif Kaisar (@StaySaif) August 30, 2021
Clive Veroni, president of Leap Consulting, says the party should stop selling the hats.
“It’s not appropriate for them to still be selling these hats because things have changed dramatically,” Veroni said.
“Whoever came up with this idea clearly does not subscribe to the idea that you should under-promise and over-deliver.”
Veroni criticised the messaging on the hat saying the caucus could have written anything on it, but to promise the best summer ever and then still sell the hats when case counts and death rates are going up is extremely tone-deaf.
“As if this kind of confident bluster would be sufficient to overcome the advance of a deadly, highly contagious, pandemic. This is magical thinking,” Veroni added.
“Maybe they should have made these hats out of tin foil, but that kind of magical thinking and that and that kind of bluster makes it feel less of a political message and more like a Monty Python skit. It totally misses the mark.”
He also says seeing cases rise in Alberta should not come as a surprise to anyone.
“It was fairly predictable in Alberta, you would see a rise in cases and a rise in death counts as you remove these public health measures. They should have removed their hats at the same time.”
Meanwhile, NDP Deputy Leader Sarah Hoffman called the move “disgusting” and said, “[Jason Kenney] should return the money and apologize immediately.”
In a statement to 660 NEWS, the UCP’s communications director, Dave Prisco, said the following:
“Under Premier Kenney’s leadership, and thanks to high vaccination rates, Alberta was the first province in Canada to remove restrictions on social gatherings, large events, and business capacity limits. After more than a year of those restrictions being in place, and the significant personal and economic impact they had on Albertans, the hats were a way to celebrate Alberta’s return to normal. We know that vaccines provide very strong protection against serious health effects. And yes, the overwhelming majority of eligible Albertans who have gotten vaccinated should be enjoying the ‘best summer ever.'”
As of publication, the hats are still being sold on the UCP website for $40.