Canada

Alberta justice minister says Opposition, Ottawa, media ‘looking for’ COVID-19 disaster

Alberta’s justice minister says a COVID-19 disaster is what the provincial Opposition, the federal government and the media “were looking for and want” in the province.

Kaycee Madu‘s comment on his Facebook page Friday was part of his defence of new health restrictions aimed at reversing soaring case rates in Alberta.

Read more: Alberta businesses brace for 3rd round of COVID-19 restrictions, closures

Madu says an overrun health-care system would leave patients gasping for breath in field hospitals.

Premier Kenney announces new COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta

Premier Jason Kenney, while facing criticism for his government’s response to the pandemic, recently said now is not the time to point fingers and politicize the fight against COVID-19.

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Read more: Kenney blames feds, Albertans who break rules for serious surge in COVID-19 cases

Kenney’s United Conservative government has repeatedly criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals of hamstringing the relief effort and, as late as April 29, blamed the entire third wave on Ottawa.

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Read more: Alberta’s current COVID-19 status worse than every province and state: Former top doctor

“The minister was referring to the increasing tendency of different groups, including the NDP, to exploit the pandemic for their own political purposes,” Blaise Boehmer told Global News in an email. “We see this everyday with the NDP’s overcooked and incendiary rhetoric both in the legislative assembly and on social media. The minister won’t apologize for stating the obvious.”

Global News has requested an interview with Minister Madu.

The NDP, meanwhile, is asking Madu to apologize to Alberta journalists and the Opposition.

— With files from Global News

Restrictions are ‘absolutely necessary’ to reduce COVID-19 transmission in Alberta: Hinshaw

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