Another Covid Solution, Another Non-Plan  

Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Jason Kenney hid while Albertan’s lives and livelihoods went up in smoke.

Last Thursday Health minister Shandro and Drs Hinshaw and Yiu unveiled the government’s latest non-plan to get Alberta through the pandemic.

Alberta’s ICUs are at 130% capacity when surge capacity is excluded (87% capacity with the temporary beds are included).   

So the government will spend $36 million (slightly more than the War Room’s annual budget) to boost wages and hire more continuing care staff so we can shuffle 400 people presently in hospital (because there’s no space in continuing care and they can’t go home) into continuing care or back home.  

Shandro, Kenney and Hinshaw

Move ‘em out

Shandro says his decision is guided by a report issued in May 2021. That report set out 42 recommendations to improve the quality of care for residents in continuing care, not one of them suggests using continuing care to offset a crisis in ICU.   

Shandro says he could move 200 of the 400 out within a week or two.

Where’s he going to put them? The Report calls for an immediate halt to new admissions to rooms that already have two residents, and more stringent measures to prevent overcrowding so Shandro certainly can’t triple and quadruple bunk them.

Maybe he’s sending them home. Is two weeks enough time for AHS to hire and train enough aides to care for those who require continuous monitoring and assistance with medications, hygiene, meals, and laundry?

The only way pushing 400 people out of regular hospital beds will alleviate the pressure on ICUs is if those beds are converted to ICU beds. Which leads to the next question, does Shandro have the personnel and the resources to create 200 to 400 more ICU beds?

What’s the plan?

Kenney and Shandro say increasing the vaccination rate will decrease the number of people hospitalized and reduce pressure on our ICUs. However their plan to boost vaccination rates through lotteries, prizes and bribes failed.

Now AHS has to postpone or cancel scheduled elective surgeries, including some pediatric surgeries, cancer surgeries and transplant cases to relieve the pressure on ICUs.

How did it come to this?

Looking back, it’s apparent Kenney had a plan. It was revealed in dribs and drabs by his hapless caucus members.    

In Nov 2020 UCP MLA Jason Luan said (then retracted) that the government intended to push hospitalizations and ICUs “to the limit” before it gradually introduced restrictions.

In July 2021 UCP MLA Nathan Neudorf said (then retracted) that the government expected a rapid rise followed by a rapid decline in case numbers as covid raced through the unvaccinated population, and this would allow the government to avoid further restrictions.

Then last Thursday Shandro said the government knew all along its Open for Summer plan and the removal of public health measures would cause cases to rise, but the government expected the rising case count to “decouple” from hospitalizations. In other words, a lot more people would get sick but fewer would be hospitalized, and we’d avoid further restrictions.

Like so many of Kenney’s bad bets, his plan blew up in his face.

Case counts are rising, but they haven’t “decoupled” from hospitalizations. Consequently our hospitals and ICUs are on the verge of collapse. Hence the need to push 400 people out of hospital to make way for the incoming.

There is another way

Shandro said his government was exploring “all options to ramp up capacity.” Instead of ramping up capacity his government should do more to ramp up the vaccination rate. It should introduce mandatory vaccine passports for non-essential services.  

The reporters, bless their hearts, pushed Shandro on this question: Are mandatory vaccine passports on the table if things get worse?  

Um, well, er, good question, Shandro said.  

He lavished praise on the businesses and sports teams that showed “great leadership” by requiring vaccination passports. Then he blathered about the government working on a QR code or a “printable card” that could be proof of vaccination for anyone who chooses to present it to whomever chooses to require it.

Then he turned the question into a metaphysical exercise. “You’re asking how certain we can be about the future.” What?  

It was like listening to a tarot card reader.

Never mind, we’ve got the picture. Based on what Shandro, Luan and Neudorf said it appears the plan was to push the healthcare system to the max before introducing restrictions (check) and lifting the restrictions as soon as possible (check) in anticipation of the vaccines wiping out covid (fail).  

Reason for failure: Jason Kenney. He confused and alienated so many Albertans with all his talk about covid being a flu, only fatal if you’re old and sick, restrictions violating freedoms, and the pandemic being over on July 1 when he declared Alberta Open for Summer, that too many Albertans refuse to get vaccinated.

And here we are in the middle of a fourth wave.

Albertans are sick and dying. There’s no room for them in the ICU so others who need non-covid care are being pushed out. The majority of Albertans and the business community are begging for mandatory vaccine passports but his own party is fundraising against them. It’s a frigging mess.

Which brings us back to Nero.    

The fiddler

The Great Fire that ravaged Rome destroyed 70% of the city and left half the population homeless. Nero was out of town at his villa. Rumour has it he didn’t fiddle but sang as he watched Rome burn. Many Romans believed he started the fire, this belief was reinforced when he built the Golden Place and pleasure gardens on the scorched land.

Nero was a cruel and ineffectual leader in a time of great crisis.

Need we say more.

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64 Responses to Another Covid Solution, Another Non-Plan  

  1. Rick Cowburn says:

    <<>>

    Nero’s Deadline
    Constantine P. Cavafy

    Nero wasn’t worried at all when he heard
    what the Delphic Oracle had to say:
    ‘Beware the age of seventy-three.’
    Plenty of time to enjoy himself.
    He’s thirty. The deadline
    the god has given him is quite enough
    to cope with future dangers.

    Now, a little tired, he’ll return to Rome-
    but wondefully tired from that journey
    devoted entirely to pleasure:
    theatres, garden parties, stadiums…
    evenings in the cities of Achaia…
    and, above all, the delight of naked bodies…

    So much for Nero. And in Spain Galba
    secretly musters and drills his army-
    Galba, now in his seventy-third year.

    (written in Greek, circa 1919)

    Cavafy’s poem is quite reflects Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, re: Nero:

    “He felt confident after consulting the Delphic Oracle, which warned him to beware the seventieth year, which he took to mean that he would die then, not dreaming it referred to Galba’s age, and instilled him with such confidence in a long life, and rare and unbroken good fortune, that when he lost some articles of great value in a shipwreck, he simply told his close friends that the fishes would return them to him.”

    “But when news of Galba’s insurrection in Spain arrived, he fainted
    away and lay there insensible for a long while, mute and seemingly dead.
    When he came to, he tore his clothes and beat his forehead, crying that all
    was over with him. His old nurse tried to comfort him, reminding him that
    other princes had suffered like evils before, but he shouted out that on the
    contrary his fate was unparalleled since none had been known to lose
    supreme power while they still lived.

    However he made no attempt thereafter to abandon or even modify
    his lazy and extravagant ways. Indeed, when tidings from the provinces
    proved good, he not only gave lavish banquets, but even ridiculed the rebels
    in verse, later published, which was set to bawdy music accompanied by
    appropriate gestures. And he stole into the audience room of the Theatre,
    to convey a message to an actor whose performance was going well, to say
    that he ought not to take advantage of the emperor’s absence on business.”

    Writing under a later dynasty and perhaps politically motivated to criticize earlier caesars, Suetonius’ objectivity is often called into question. Those were very polarized times, not entirely unlike the present situation:

    In the Antiquities of the Jews 20.8, Josephus states that many historians had lied about Nero;
    “…some of which have departed from the truth of facts out of favour, as having received benefits from him; while others, out of hatred to him, and the great ill-will which they bare him, have so impudently raved against him with their lies… [11] “

    • Rick, I enjoyed these excerpts, especially this: “And in Spain Galba secretly musters and drills his army.” I wonder who the UCP equivalent to Galba is because make no mistake, those who would depose Kenney are working furiously to do so.
      It’s not a question of if Kenney will fall, but when he will fall and to whom.

      • Rick Cowburn says:

        Sic transit gloria mundi…
        = = = = = =
        They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
        Out of a misty dream
        Our path emerges for a while, then closes
        Within a dream.
        (Dowson)

  2. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. The UCP does not even have the slightest clue as to what they are doing with covid, and it shows. The UCP doesn’t listen to medical experts, such as doctors, (remember their request for a circuit breaker in mid autumn, of last year, and in early spring of this year?). The next thing we know the UCP says that visiting our loved ones for Christmas and Easter are off. The UCP stifles other doctors, like Dr. Deena Hinshaw. David Shepherd, an NDP MLA, and Health critic, wanted Dr. Deena Hinshaw to be independent. He made a motion requesting such. The UCP, in their less than infinite wisdom, shot that idea down. Dr. Deena Hinshaw has been taken over by the UCP so much that she wouldn’t even condemn the UCP’s Sky Palace get together, where the premier of Alberta (that role is questionable, at best), the health minister, and other UCP party members were partying it up, and claiming to be working. When this happened, they were clearly violating their own covid guidelines, as evidenced by a photo. Some UCP MLAs condemned this, but I think the premier ignored them. We also we’re seeing the UCP give explicit orders for Albertans to stay home during Christmas, yet the UCP MLAs were leaving the province at that time. One of them who did that, Miranda Rosin, went to visit her family in Saskatchewan. She also mailed her constituents a newsletter in November and gave misleading information stating that the worst of the covid situation in Alberta is behind us, when it wasn’t. The premier only offered weak condemnation and was grandstanding. Alberta is leading the country with covid cases so frequently, and even did in the entire North American continent, during May. Then, in June the premier of Alberta and the UCP claim that covid in Alberta is over, and we can reopen and have the best summer ever. Look at where that got us today. The UCP has a very hard time learning, and it is so obvious. It will only get worse, which is unfortunate. Albertans better brace themselves.

    • Very true, Dwayne, very true. I can’t express the depth of my disappointment with Dr Hinshaw. She’s got a medical degree and a Masters in Public Health. Her job, according to the government of Alberta website is to provide “public health expertise” to the government.
      And yet the other day (18 months into the pandemic) she said she thought the “trajectory” of covid “was set when we removed all the public health restrictions at the beginning of July.” She also said provinces that lifted restrictions are seeing significant impacts from Delta, but those that didn’t, aren’t.
      I simply don’t understand this. If the “trajectory” was set on July 1 and provinces that kept restrictions fared better than those that did not, why on God’s green earth didn’t she step forward 2 months ago and call a halt? Was she negligent? willfully blind? what?

  3. mikegklein says:

    Thank you Susan. I hope for the sake of wanting to believe the best of people, that Dwayne is correct and the UCP has no idea what COVID-19 is and how to deal with it.

    However, if they knew the ICU beds were going to be flooded with demand, then they knew there would be people fighting for their lives, at least some of whom would not survive and the case count was going to be unusually high, hence the bed crowding.

    This whole situation sounds to be deliberately arrived at through careful management of the situation to whatever ends. To me, this is damned scary. People are unnecessarily suffering and dying.

    • Dwayne says:

      mikegklein: Another point of information is that the UCP are intent on doing whatever they can to get private for profit healthcare in Alberta, much like Ralph Klein wanted to do. This is how they will attempt it, by overwhelming hospitals, or with Ralph Klein style cuts.

      • GoinFawr says:

        It’s the conservative (and neoliberal) MO:
        create a crisis by critically underfunding a valued public service , which is even easier in an emergency situation like a global pandemic. Then, once the targeted public service is deliberately crashed by their policy they say,

        “See, publicly funded services are dysfunctional, the only answer is privatization”

      • GoinFawr: I too wondered whether Kenney and the UCP would be so cruel as to implement policies that would exacerbate the crisis so they could point to it later and say, see, that’s why we need to privatize healthcare. However, I think they seriously underestimated the pushback they’d get from the doctors and nurses. The nurses have always been willing to step up and defend themselves, but the doctors have been reticent to do so, partly because in the past the PC government used the College of Physicians and Surgeons to run roughshod over doctors who stepped out of line. But that was a different time. Our brave doctors (and nurses) see exactly what the UCP’s misguided policies have wrought and they’re speaking up. Thank god, or we’d have no idea how serious this situation is.

    • Mike: I suspect many things motivate the UCP MLAs including a mish mash of (1) believing covid is a hoax, (2) believing they could identify the tipping point before Alberta’s ICUs were swamped, (3) ideology (freedom trumps everything), and (4) a love of power, especially for Kenney who rode into town expecting to unite the right, make Alberta great again, then ride back to Ottawa as the savior of the conservative movement. He’s got a real problem now because if he reimposes restrictions, he risks losing too many UCP MLAs. Right now they’re all independents, but if they band together they can become a legitimate far right alternative to Kenney (shudder). This will put paid to Kenney’s legacy and any hope he had of returning to Ottawa in triumph goes up in smoke (to continue with the Rome burning metaphor).

  4. mikegklein says:

    By the way, has anyone seen UCP out campaigning for their CPC kin? Just curious.

  5. GoinFawr says:

    Thank you Susan, you’ve certainly laid it on the line regarding ‘ how we’ve come to this’, and it’s damning stuff for which the UCP is going to have to answer.

  6. jerrymacgp says:

    This whole affair is beyond appalling. That Dr Hinshaw is seemingly going along with this disaster, rather than resign on principal, is also appalling. As a public health physician, she of all people should be familiar with the “Fence or Ambulance” concept, which is at the heart of all public health. Better to build a fence at the edge of a cliff, than send more ambulances to the bottom to help those who have fallen. But this government, either with her tacit assent or overruling her advice – which it is, we will probably never know as it will undoubtedly be protected as Cabinet confidence – has decided not to fence that cliff edge, and indeed has made the approaching slope more slippery, and has doubled down on sending more ambulances, even though the ones that are already on scene are in a traffic jam and can’t move (sorry, the metaphor’s getting a bit strained here, so I’ll stop lol).

    Click to access 15+PHM+Winter+2011-2012+The+Fence+or+the+Ambulance.pdf

    The irresponsibility at play here is astounding.

    By the way, re AHS and home care workers: in most of Alberta home care is largely contracted out to private providers. AHS Case Managers – largely Registered Nurses – assess clients and authorize care, which is then provided by contracted agencies. The issue then will be, do those agencies have capacity to expand their workforces, quickly enough, without sacrificing quality? Most of North Zone is a major exception, in that the RNs, LPNs and health care aides that go out to clients’ homes to provide care are largely AHS employees. But here too, there are exceptions: in privately owned for-profit supportive living facilities the health care aides are employed by the home, but professional nursing – RN & LPN – is provided by AHS staff.

    If you’re thinking that home care is unnecessarily complicated, you’re right; it’s also not covered under the Canada Health Act, so the federal government has fewer levers to intervene or set national standards.

    • Jerrymacgp: thanks for bringing up the point that home care isn’t necessarily the answer. From what I’ve heard, while some people report good results, there are many more who say the home care workers don’t show up on time, leave early, don’t know what they’re supposed to do (for example sometimes someone will say say they’re not hungry but will eat if the home care worker warms up their meal and helps them eat it). Often the home care workers are run off their feet and couldn’t do a decent job even if they wanted to.
      So while investing in home care is a good idea, using home care to clear out 200 to 400 patients so you can use their beds to increase ICU capacity (and where are we going to get the ICU staff and equipment to support those beds?) instead of imposing a vaccination passport to boost the vaccination rate and reintroducing restrictions until we get this under control is lunacy.
      PS: thank you for the fence and cliff analogy. It’s bang on.

  7. Right on Susan! What will Kenney do when the Children’s Hospital reaches full capacity? This is no time to mince words–the longer he and his sycophants stay the course, the sooner I’ll conclude they are all cognitively impaired or sadistic psychopaths.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Judy, I’m not quite ready to conclude Kenney is either evil or stupid. We should remember the movie-writers’ adage: “the villain is the hero of his own story.” I don’t doubt Kenney believes he’s doing the right thing. He’s not smart enough to pull it off, but his beliefs are sincere. The question is, why those particular beliefs?

      Kenney is said to have attended a conference at the Manhattan Institute, where he was converted to the neoliberal, Libertarian viewpoint flogged by American billionaires (I didn’t bookmark my source; sorry). Result: a politician who thinks government should be small, starved and weak.

      That might work during good times when labour is scarce and wages are high, when the economy’s booming and everybody’s feeling lucky. It falls apart during a crisis like Covid-19. That’s when you NEED a strong government and a politician who can inspire people to follow. That’s when you need a leader.

      Kenney is a destroyer, not a leader. He has a skewed notion of personal “freedom” that ignores personal responsibility (that’s why nothing’s ever Kenney’s fault). It amounts to “Don’t tell me what to do” coupled with, “It’s your mess, you clean it up.” So…not a head full of bad wiring, it’s more like faulty programming.

      None of this excuses Kenney. He’s the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. We need to keep pushing back, to make Kenney more scared of losing the next election than of being betrayed by his Base and his caucus.

      • GoinFawr says:

        So Kenney is ok with life being unfair, just so long as it remains unfair in his favour?

        Kenney and the UCP/PPC/PC antivax/masqueurs etc. ilk treat responsibility like it is the bane of freedom, when actually it is a fixed cost in the price.

    • Judy, I’m glad you brought up the children. The number of children testing positive for covid is rising dramatically. Which leads me to ask if the government won’t take steps to protect the elderly (they were expendable in the 1st wave) or the children (the so-called effort to protect the children through waves 2, 3, and 4 are a joke), then who exactly has to suffer and die before the government finally kicks into gear.

      • Jerrymacgp says:

        Children are indeed less likely to get seriously ill, and far less likely to require ICU care or die of COVID-19, than adults or seniors. But, we often forget a few salient points:
        – “less likely” ≠ “impossible”, and every death of a child is a tragedy beyond measure
        – children & youth can also get the mysterious Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), the long-term effects of which are not yet known
        – children under 12, none of whose can yet be vaccinated, remain an important reservoir of virus circulation in the community, and for the development of new variants as the virus mutates

        For all these reasons, and many more, we can’t afford to be complacent about COVID-19 in children.

  8. Ingamarie says:

    And the oddest part of this gong show, mediated by conservative ideology rather than science, is that the majority of Albertans are going to the polls to elect Jason’s chosen federal leader….a guy by the name of Oh..Toole.

    Can’t help but wonder what panaceas he’ll have up his sleeve if elected. Pandering to the fringes of your ideology, while making sweeping promises of ‘getting the economy growing’….and of course, keeping planet killing industries in the black, has a familiar ring.

    Too bad about that pesky virus, but freedom of ‘choice’ is the conservative buzzword. So let’s not loosen our seatbelts. In Alberta, we double down when confronted with realities not in our game plan.

    Neither covid, nor conservative health care solutions are over yet.

    • Ingamarie: Good point, and let’s not forget the federal CPC leader said Kenney was doing a great job at handling covid. Then (apparently) he told Kenney to lie low. A Herald columnist said this was a calculated move to ensure Trudeau wouldn’t take potshots at Kenney, but I would wager it was to prevent Kenney from damaging O’Toole’s chances. Not that the CPC won’t sweep Alberta, again. After all we Albertans are people of destiny, and it’s our destiny to continue to elect politicians who promise to take us backwards not forwards.

  9. Mike J Danysh says:

    Friends, I’m very much afraid Ms. Soapbox is correct. Kenney et al DID have a plan, and it’s going almost—not quite—the way they wanted. You’ll find an analysis here:
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-covid-19-modelling-1.6168948

    In particular, read the section “Perplexing failure to act”. It begins to make sense when you consider the gaffes by Jason Luan, Nathan Neudorf and Tyler Shandro (also Travis Toews, who said much the same as Shandro recently—in effect, “Yeah, we knew case loads would explode.”).

    Add in the War on Doctors, the War on Nurses and you have the perfect storm—hospitals in crisis, health professionals breaking under the load and therefore quitting. Et voila—a ready-made market for private providers, with a pool of skilled labour just waiting to sign up for higher (doctors) or lower (nurses) pay. Label this “Conspiracy Theory #NNN” because I’ve lost count.

    “Reason for failure: Jason Kenney.” I agree completely. Susan, you accurately described Kenney’s actions. What are his motives? I believe Drew Anderson and Duane Bratt described them. (Links to CBC articles will be posted separately.) Kenney isn’t nearly as clever as he believes, so Anderson points out the UCP have become paralyzed by their own mistakes. Bratt believes Kenney’s ideology, which fits comfortably with many Albertans’ belief government should be small and should leave them alone, simply doesn’t work during a crisis like Covid-19.

    Alberta is the most Americanized province in Confederation. We’re seeing the result of a neoliberal Republican wannabe trying to impose American solutions on a Canadian context. It doesn’t work. Jason Kenney, like Ralph Klein and Stephen Harper, is not a maker. They were all breakers. Ralph got away with it because he rode an oil boom into power and turned it into a construction boom. Harper got kicked out in 2015 because the economy turned sour. Now it’s Kenney’s turn. If we wind up with a Liberal minority government in Ottawa, Kenney may not last till the next provincial election. (Or is that wishful thinking?)

    • Mike J Danysh: Thank you for the link to the CBC article: When doctors say there’s no excuse for this sort of negligence at the government level, and even assuming Hinshaw just made a terrible mistake (by relying on the UK data and not factoring in the impact of Delta) there’s no excuse for not changing course and reinstituting restrictions.
      Dr. Ilan Schwartz said “The bottom line is that people are going to die and it is really tragic — but it is also infuriating, because this was all entirely preventable.” This should be a battle cry for all the families who lost someone prematurely and all the rest of us who are at risk of suffering the same fate.
      Absolutely appalling.
      PS I also agree with you that Kenney isn’t nearly as smart as he thinks he is. In corporations there’s something called the 2IC syndrome. The second in command looks like a superstar as long as the 1IC (first in command) tells him what to do. Once the 2IC is promoted to the 1IC job he falls apart because (a) he’s not a leader, (b) he’s not smart and (c) he’s got no where to hide and no one to protect him. I believe this goes a long way to explain why Kenney was a success in Ottawa and such a dud here. Sadly, Albertans have to bear the brunt of Kenney’s incompetence.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: If people pass away from the UCP’s negligence, their relatives will launch a lawsuit, and we will end up paying for it, if they win. Under Ralph Klein, relatives of people who passed away from the results of his cuts to healthcare in Alberta, took the matter to court, and the government had to settle out of court for an undisclosed amount of money. However, we ended up paying for the costs, and the settlement that was given. It’s because Ralph Klein, like his good buddy, Mike Harris, in Ontario, made it so that the government isn’t held responsible for their neglect. We were the ones who ended up paying for Stockwell Day’s defamation lawsuit costs.

      • Dwayne, understood. Such is life in a democracy. Albertans elect Kenney, Albertans pay the price (in lost lives and law suits) for his failures.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: Albertans didn’t elect the premier, or the UCP. They got into power by dubious means. Elections Alberta still shows those in the UCP party being fined for election related matters.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Spot on
    Rather than increase capacity let’s prevent people from needing hospitalization in the first place and if that requires lockdowns because not enough people are vaccinated then that is what has to be done
    I believe Dr Hinshaw was correct in June when she said we could treat Covid as endemic, BUT, that was without considering the effect of Delta variant which was obvious from other countries’ experiences. If the arbitrary July 1 date hadn’t been stuck to and we would have waited another month before opening up we would have been in a much better position.

    • Jennifer, yes, other experts agree that we will have to move to treating covid as endemic, but that Hinshaw/Kenney made the move prematurely without taking into consideration the impact of the Delta virus. What bothers me is that once they realized they’d lifted the restrictions too soon, they failed to reverse course. Kenney said we were open “for good”, there would be no turning back. Apparently he’s going to hold a press conference tonight at 6 PM. So we’ll get a chance to see what’s more important to him, our health or his political future.

  11. Carlos says:

    Talk about human failure and incompetence.
    One does not have to go far to witness it.
    Not much to say about Jason Kenney and his gong show. An ultimate failure of human responsibility and maturity.

    On the Federal Front the picture is slightly better – the juveniles and their promises to get elected.
    The promises on the Federal Election are just sublime, are they not?
    It is the whole political palace slowly disintegrating into manure and the rest of us wonder how far we have to go before it all collapses into failure.

    If O’Toole gets a minority government, we will start the promises on the right. Austerity will come and the promises of no deficits again. Then at the end of the 4 years it ends up they spent more than the Liberals. Then comes the Liberals with day care again which they promised 25 years ago. This is our democracy and it seems we are all happy with this. In the meantime our decline in standards of living is palpable except for the rich that have never had it so good.

    • Carlos, you raise many interesting points here, given the failures in government we’ve seen in the US and what we’re seeing here on the provincial and federal level (well the municipal level too), one wonders how much crap people will take before they say enough. That said we have to remember that these parties are elected by people who believe in their cause and no amount of reasoning will convince them otherwise. If by some miracle Kenney announces mandatory vaccine passports today, I’m sure he’ll be deluged with lunatics swearing to do him hard. The fact vaxx passports have been shown to increase the vaccination rate does not appear to be part of the equation.
      Treacherous times ahead!

  12. Jaundiced Eye says:

    I wish everyone would stop saying Jason Kenney is incompetent. He is not. He has a plan and is sticking with it. He did all the right things during the first wave to reduce the number of cases of Covid and deaths. Quite obviously he knows what to do, he simply stopped doing it after the first wave.

    Anyone paying attention knew what Kenney was like before he was elected in Alberta. The fact that anyone is shocked what he is doing or not doing, presently, is astounding. It is a difference of morality. Case in point, does anyone else remember seeing Kenney’s speech bragging that he was proud of preventing hospital visitation rights of gay partners saying good bye?

    Mind you, Kenney is not doing this on his own. The Confederacy of Dunces surrounding Kenney, including Hinshaw, his Cabinet, Caucus, and Staff, will go along with whatever he says as these are the best paying jobs that they will ever have.

    At the very least, In Alberta, can we at least call the fourth wave the, “Kenney Wave”, or the “Kenney/Hinshaw Wave”

    • Dwayne says:

      Jaundiced Eye: Incompetence certainly is fitting. If Alberta leads Canada with covid cases so often, that also involves incompetent leadership. That’s how it is. Even in the month of May, Alberta had the largest per capita rate of people with covid in the entire North American continent. Look at where we are now. On many other fronts, the UCP are incompetent.

    • Carlos says:

      Jaundiced Eye
      We are calling Jason Kenney incompetent only because of his failed Covid-19 non-strategy.
      Evaluate him from the beginning – there are unlimited examples
      1 – The War Room
      2 – 1.5 Billion on a pipeline that would never be built
      3 – The Commission on finding societies interfering with our oil business – 3 extensions and 1 million dollars more – result NOTHING
      4 – The new education Curriculum – no one wants it
      5 – Cutting Nurses income in the middle of a pandemic
      6 – Cancellation of doctors contracts without any reason
      7 – Disappearing in the middle of the 4th wave and no one in charge
      8 – UCP MLAs going on vacation in the middle of a pandemic
      9 – Visit to London to get investment dollars in the middle of a pandemic wave there
      10 – Cancelling the 25 dollar a day – day care and no replacement ( does not like anything public)
      11 – insulting anyone and everyone including Justin Trudeau and then go beg for pandemic dollars
      12 – Ending insurance for farmers
      And many more
      Now this may not be enough for you to call him incompetent for whatever reason – for anyone with common sense he is terribly INCOMPETENT

      • Carlos says:

        My initial phrase missed Not so I meant to say
        We are not calling Jason Kenney incompetent only because of his failed Covid-19 non strategy
        I apologize

      • Jaundiced Eye says:

        Kenney does not always get the outcome he desires but he is laser like in his focus. He may make mistakes but the items listed in your grocery list above did not happen by accident. It is perilous to underestimate this man as nothing more than a buffoon.

      • Carlos and the others: I agree. Considering that Kenney came to power promising to unite the Wildrose and the PCs and if anything he’s driving them further apart, I’d say he’s utterly incompetent. He’s been premier for what, two years, and already he’s had to oust Barnes and Loewen and demote Leela Aheer and Tracy Allard. I’ve lost count (is it 20?) of his MLAs who’ve written critical letters about his policies, some of which go so far as to apologize for his behavior. That’s not a sign of good leadership, it’s the sign of an impending mutiny.

    • Jaundiced Eye: I take your point that Kenney has a plan and is sticking with it. However, I believe he’s incompetent because he’s incapable of implementing so many of his policies. He campaigned on “jobs, economy, pipelines.” But as Carlos pointed out, his policies to build jobs, pipelines and the economy were a bust. This is partly due to his being stuck in the old conservative way of thinking and partly because he lacks foresight. He must have realized the repeal of Lougheed’s Coal Policy would be problematic, but grossly underestimated the resistance from everyone from ranchers to country singers which put the whole thing on hold. He wanted to downsize government but cutting healthcare, so he went after doctors compensation and the nurses in the middle of a pandemic (brilliant). He gave $1.5B to TCEnergy and $408M to Inter Pipe when it was in the middle of a hostile takeover, with no strings attached. This is bad business.
      Unlike many politicians who’ve had some real life experience, Kenney came into politics woefully unprepared. He worked hard, did Harper’s bidding, and was rewarded for it. I think he expected Alberta, the most conservative of conservative provinces, to fall into his lap, then he’d return to Ottawa triumphant and ready for the PM’s job. But when the economy tanked he was lost, the old conservative ways didn’t work. Then covid hit and he was finished. As someone else pointed out, the con mentality doesn’t work in a crisis. He demonstrated he’s inflexible, unimaginative, and inept.
      I predict he’ll be pushed out of power before the next election, retire to a think tank and spend the rest of his life musing over what his legacy could have been had the fates not conspired against him. Given his fondness for calling Albertans people of destiny, that would be a fitting end to his career.

  13. Brian Gibbon says:

    Nero had the Golden Palace. Kenney has the Sky Palace.

  14. Anita says:

    Jason Kenny and the Government of Alberta have abdicated their responsibility to the people of Alberta. Dr. Hinshaw’s actions (lack of action) suggest she has has broken her oaths as a physician. She should resign in protest. This situation is unconscionable. What can Albertans do? What action is available to us? I write letters to my MLA, the Minister of Health, the Premier, but feel powerless in the face of this dreadful pandemic. I have lived in Alberta for my entire Life and now wish I lived almost anywhere else in in Canada.

    • Anita, like you I’m incredibly frustrated. I’m sending letters to my MLA with copies to Rachel Notley and other members of her caucus. I try to support people like Dr Joe Vipond and Dr Markland who continue to be vocal advocates for Albertans throughout this horrible crisis. Kenney is going to make an announcement today at 6 PM, regardless of what it is I intend to write to every member of the Cabinet Covid committee to push them to stay on track. The committee is comprised of Kenney (chair), Jason Nixon (vice chair) Travis Toes, Sonya Savage, Doug Schweitzer, Tyler Shandro, Kaycee Madu, Rebecca Schultz and Ric McIver. They have a duty to protect Albertans in this pandemic. They’ve seen examples from across Canada as to what works and what doesn’t. If they announce anything less than a mandatory vaxx passport, and more restrictions, they’ll have failed us all…again.

  15. Carlos says:

    I could not post this as a reply to Jaundiced Eyes so I try it here

    I am not at all underestimating the malicious and bullying ways of Jason Kenney. He has displayed them quite obviously from his University days.

    Also with all due respect this is not a grocery list. This is a serious list of failures and it is not a complete one. It is very possible that, like you mentioned, this was done intentionally and I for one would not doubt it especially where it relates to Health Care. He desperate wants to change it to the American style to allow his friends and in special Shandro and his wife to take full advantage. We have examples all over the world of the creation of oligarchs following the Neo- Liberal dogma of everything public is bad and selling public assets for pennies.

    In any event, I consider this kind of attitude to be incompetent.
    Incompetent is defined as someone who does not have the skills to do something successfully and I do not think Jason Kenney does. He certainly has the skills of a bully and gets his way in a world of greed but nothing else. That world has been on the upswing for decades but I doubt it will continue in its last version of a Neo-Liberal Populism.
    Time will tell.

  16. Carlos says:

    Look at the very first picture in this article – is he not cute?

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/covid-fourth-wave-alberta-reality-check-1.6175564
    What a Moron
    Please resign

    • GoinFawr says:

      From that timely article:

      June 2, 2021.

      “The pandemic is ending. Accept it.” Tweeted Matt Wolf, Kenney’s ‘executive director of issues mgt.’

      June 2, 2021

      Now there’s a quote for your average UsedCarPartier to be immensely proud of, because it so concisely illustrates the snide, smarmy, dead wrong, and unjustifiably self righteous attitudes they so revere and reserve the privilege of imposing upon everyone else.

      I might just consider stretching that thread out a bit for Matt Wolf..

      • Carlos says:

        Matt Wolf seems to be the UCP knows it all
        I just keep thinking what would have happened in this province if this was the NDP in power and done just 1/3 of the mistakes we have witnessed.
        They would have been cremated.
        But being the UCP – no one resigns, no one is fired and the premier does not even have to JUST show up

      • I haven’t seen much of Matt Wolf lately. I wonder whether his stupid comment is the reason why.

  17. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is a fitting song that should apply to the premier of Alberta, (that title can be questioned), and the UCP. It’s Hit The Road Jack, featuring Ray Charles live in Edmonton, in 1981. He did a concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

  18. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I thought I’d share something else, music wise. This is a Ray Charles composition, What’d I Say. He is performing this live on The Ed Sullivan Show, in December of 1967. Billy Preston, around age 22, is on the Hammond organ. This is a nice break from these trying times.

  19. Guy says:

    So today, apparently, we have an updated approach to dealing with COVID. In typical UCP fashion, having seen the horse bolt from the barn and standing by as it disappears into the horizon, then waiting for several weeks to make absolutely certain that it won’t voluntarily return, because that’s what they really hope it will do, they entered into discussions resulting in a triumphant public announcement that yes, indeed, the barn door will begin to close. I presume this was immediately followed by a much more private Sky Palace celebration at which they congratulate each other on all of their hard work and diligence.

    I have absolutely no doubt that I have scraped things off the bottom of my shoe that contain more brain cells than the entire UCP caucus could muster at one time.

    • Carlos says:

      ‘I have absolutely no doubt that I have scraped things off the bottom of my shoe that contain more brain cells than the entire UCP caucus could muster at one time.’

      Best sentence this week

      It clearly defines the UCP – it took 24 people to die in one day for Jason Kenney to apologize for his ‘Open for the best Summer Ever’

  20. carlosbeca says:

    We will see on Monday how many Albertans will have as many brain cells as Guy mentions in his post when voting for the Federal Election because if you think O’Toole is any different you are wrong. He is a Jason Kenney in fur coat. He knows how to use icing sugar.

  21. carlosbeca says:

    ‘The Toronto Star reports that Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole’s claim in a French-language video posted Monday that “thousands of people” are illegally crossing the Roxham Road border is false, and promotes “harmful anti-refugee myths,” according to migration experts. O’Toole’s comments repeat a similar claim made by former Tory leader Andrew Scheer during the 2019 election.’

    This is what O’Toole is about as it seems now to be the case with right wing politicians – it is all about whatever they want to believe and not reality.

  22. Carlos says:

    They just keep coming – this morning we have this one which just starts showing us the real O’Toole

    https://pressprogress.ca/ceo-of-private-healthcare-company-hosted-fundraising-event-for-conservative-leader-erin-otoole/?fbclid=IwAR2cHdzW9DjTjnNcuDbnwgTlpUYYBbJhn4UXIkMaih9jQ5TqqcQoo_2sSjw

    Do not fall for this guy – he is Jason Kenney 2.0

  23. GoinFawr says:

    Federal Election Tomorrow folks, GOTV! Remember: anywhere ~80% of the eligible participate and register their mandate things usually work out the best for the most!

    Anyone else hearing reports of the Conservatives leaving pamphlets this morning with

    “Election Day Voting Information”

    quite plainly MISinforming the recipient on the address of their assigned polling station…?

    Because I am; the cheating rotters.

    • Carlos says:

      Send it to Elections Canada – you can do it online and upload a picture of it
      They need to know – the old Conservative oops I am sorry
      They did the same with Robocalls and then pretend they were not aware – same old same old

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