NEW DOCUMENTS SHOW NO COMMUNICATION BETWEEN KENNEY’S
AND HINSHAW’S OFFICES AS FOURTH WAVE ROSE
EDMONTON – New documents, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, show that Jason Kenney lied to Albertans when he claimed to be in “constant contact” with HInshaw’s office during his European vacation in August, while COVID cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions rose.
“Everyone has the right to a vacation but anyone who is in a position of responsibility must leave someone in charge in their absence,” NDP Deputy Leader Sarah Hoffman said.
“Incredibly, the Premier insists it was him, maintaining that he was in daily contact with his staff and senior officials while on holiday.”
But according to a Nov. 3 letter from Executive Council to the Opposition, there was no email correspondence whatsoever between the Premier’s Office and the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health during that period.
The Opposition NDP has pressed Kenney to say who was legally in charge of the provincial government while he was out of the country.
“Yesterday, the Premier claimed that when he learned surgeries would be cancelled, he acted ‘immediately,’” Hoffman said. “That was a lie. There is no evidence that he was in briefings, meetings, teleconferences, or any other substantive discussions that lead into action.
“What’s more, we know he didn’t do anything for 10 days after he was warned about the rising fourth wave.”
“Clearly the entire UCP caucus is hiding the truth from Albertans. They don’t want the people they serve to know that when the Premier went away, in the middle of a pandemic, at a time when COVID cases were rising and our hospitals were under intense pressure to cope with the influx of patients, he left no one in charge.
The Opposition will continue to call for an All-Party Committee, which can call witnesses and compel the government to produce documents, to investigate the UCP’s deadly failures in the fourth wave.
The Opposition has also asked the Auditor General to investigate whether the Premier’s Office formally handed executive authority to an acting premier while Kenney was in Europe.