Alberta unions call for ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown, province-wide mask mandate and a ‘zero-COVID’ strategy to address mounting COVID-19 crisis
The Kenney government is “leading our province over a cliff,” says AFL
EDMONTON – The leaders of unions representing more than 175,000 working Albertans have unanimously passed a detailed resolution calling for urgent action from the provincial government to address the uncontrolled and terrifying explosion of COVID-19 infections in the province.
The resolution calls on the Kenney government to immediately implement 20 measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 including the following: a “circuit-breaker lockdown” as recommended by hundreds of doctors and health policy experts; a province-wide mask mandate for all indoor spaces, including workplaces; mandatory paid sick leave, so all workers can stay home when they’re sick or required to isolate; and increased funding for schools to support smaller class sizes.
The resolution also calls on the government to formally adopt a zero-COVID, “crush and contain” strategy, similar to the ones adopted by the jurisdictions around the world that have been most successful at dealing with COVID-19 – like New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan (and also the provinces of the so-called “Atlantic Bubble” here in Canada).
“Like a growing number of economists and policy experts, we unequivocally reject the notion, advanced by Premier Kenney and the UCP, that we have to choose been jobs and the economy, on one hand, and the health and safety of our fellow citizens, on the other,” says Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour.
“This is a false dichotomy and a false choice. The reality is that both lives and livelihood are going to be lost if the government continues its policy of inaction. In our opinion, what the Premier and other members of the UCP caucus are doing amounts to nothing short of criminal negligence. They are leading our province over a cliff.”
Here is a link to the full resolution, including recommendations and rationale.