January 15th, 2021

Kenney to update COVID-19 lockdown rules, but says case numbers still too high

By The Canadian Press on January 7, 2021.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney answers questions after announcing $43 million in repairs and improvements to provincial parks at a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

EDMONTON – The Alberta government is set to announce today its review of current COVID-19 lockdown rules, but Premier Jason Kenney has indicated little will change.

Kenney, in a Facebook town hall last night, says the number of new and active cases are dropping but are still too high and the government can’t risk a resurgence that could overwhelm the health system.

The province brought in stricter measures a month ago, including a ban on indoor and outdoor gatherings and sharply reduced capacity in retail stores.

Alberta currently has more than 13,000 active COVID cases and more than 900 people are in hospital.

Kenney and his government have been facing criticism for putting in the rules, saying everyone has to work together, only to see a number of United Conservative caucus members, staff and a cabinet minister jet off on Christmas vacations abroad.

Kenney initially declined to sanction the vacationers, saying many Albertans were also travelling and that it wasn’t illegal, but days later Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard resigned from cabinet and others were stripped of legislative duties.

Kenney says he has heard loud and clear from Albertans, adding they have a right to be angry and that his government will work to regain lost trust.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 7, 2021.

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