Political scientist questions why Alberta’s COVID leaders haven’t resigned

A Calgary political scientist says it’s time for Alberta’s premier, health minister, and chief medical officer of health to resign. Stefanie Lasuik reports.

CALGARY — A Calgary political scientist is adding his voice to those online asking why Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Health Tyler Shandro, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw have not yet resigned.

“This is a government that has breached personal responsibility,” said Duane Bratt, a political scientist from Mount Royal University.

“That has been their mantra that they have refused to bring in government policies because they want individuals to take ownership of their own actions. Where is the individual ownership of the actions of the health minister, premier, and chief medical officer of health?”

He points out this isn’t the first wave — it’s the fourth — and despite 79.4 per cent of eligible Albertans having been vaccinated, ICUs are more full with COVID patients than they have ever been as the province reports high death tallies and caseloads.

“These aren’t just numbers. These are people who have died or are on the verge of dying. This is a realization that the steps they took several months ago were incorrect and there has to be consequences for your actions. And these are massive consequences. They knew within days they were wrong, and instead, they demonized critics,” said Bratt.


Meanwhile, Lorian Hardcastle, an associate professor in Health Law and Policy at the University of Calgary, is calling for transparency and availability from the premier, health minister and the province’s top doctor.

She says if Hinshaw was to resign, there would still be concern.

“There’s always a worry that even though she resigns, they have to appoint someone else and people would be concerned about who they would appoint in her place. But I think the calls for resignation are not surprising when someone gets something wrong and it affects the public so significantly,” said Hardcastle.

Bratt believes the province will have to reverse course on things like a vaccine mandate — which could lead to further calls for resignation.

“I wonder why there aren’t members of the cabinet who are going to say that? That we believed the premier when they said it was going to be ‘Open for Summer, open forever’. Where is that person to step down? Where is the Jane Philpott who stepped down because of what happened to Jodie Wilson-Raybould?”

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