Evening #ableg sitting and emergency debate on the covid situation. Let’s see who actually wants to talk about the issue and find solutions and who wants to just keep playing politics.
Rachel Notley is pointing out that AHS can’t keep up with informing people at schools that they’ve been exposed to a case of covid-19 and that it’s deeply troubling to parents in Alberta.
It’s been 10 days since Kenney has made an appearance to say or do anything about the pandemic. 84% of the cases in Alberta have occurred while Kenney has been M.I.A. More than 5000 new cases since last Thursday.
Ms. Notley reminds that these are not numbers but people. Last spring when Kenney declared a public health emergency, there were 23 new cases.
She says that everyone is fully aware that other leaders who have been in isolation have been able to remain engaged and speak to the press and the people. Someone in UCP laughed and she said “It’s not funny!” UCP finds this humourous?
She says that if Kenny can appear at a UCP AGM via zoom, he can show at a press conference. Leadership is about moments, and we’ve lost track of the moments this premier has failed to show up, Ms. Notley says.
She wants to know why the cabinet waited until Monday afternoon to meet when the numbers were rising alarmingly last week and all weekend?
Ms. Notley is talking about the hundreds of doctors who have begged for some action. What we are left with in the face of this premier’s ‘unprecedented and shameful silence’ is talking points about how people who died of covid were old anyhow and the economy is more important.
Ms. Notley is talking about how the International Monetary Fund says any lasting recovery has to include dealing with this crisis and that lockdowns are not as harmful to the economy as letting the virus run uncontrolled.
Doctors have said we could be at 5000 cases per day before Christmas. The Alberta Chamber of Commerce is not celebrating this government’s do-nothing approach.
Ms. Notley is reviewing some proposals NDP put forward to help small businesses through this time. Help with rent and overhead etc. + extend the commercial eviction/utility shut off bans until April next year. “I don’t know why we haven’t been in here discussing these things.”
A lot of these business are not getting customers now because of the pandemic. Leaving everything ‘open’ is not helping them.
Low interest loans to keep businesses afloat would also help. “These are not unreasonable proposals and I’m sure members opposite have their own ideas” The urgency of acting on them is “brutally apparent”.
She says if they claim to be worried about the economy, then DO something. Sticking their heads in the sand and pretending there is no problem is not helping these businesses.
Ms. Notley talks about their covid threshold index that has benchmarks that will trigger a change or a measure, rather than arbitrary dates. It will provide certainty and people can see their actions having an effect to avoid reaching certain metrics.
The risk index is critically important because it allows Albertans to see how close we are getting to certain kinds of measures and impacts.
ICU beds are not ‘available’ if they have no highly trained staff available to tend the patients in them.
Ms. Notley is talking about UCP’s attacks on health care workers and doctors. Threatening job cuts, pay cuts that may not even save money, ripping up contracts.
She is adding that everyone except UCP knew and accepted that a second wave was coming and that in the summer there was time to plan, hire, train, put strategies in place for long term care facilities. UCP did nothing.
‘It’s jaw dropping to me that in the face of what we saw coming this fall, that the members over there thought it was the right time’ to put in a bill that strips workers of the right to refuse unsafe work. ‘Good Lord!’ ‘Pull that ridiculous piece of bad judgement off the table.
Something was supposed to happen when we reached 50% of ICU capacity, but instead they are redefining what ‘ICU bed’ means and contemplating putting staff who are not trained for ICU in charge of them. They are diluting the quality of care for the most vulnerable.
UCP was bragging about having 800 contact tracers, but they weren’t all full time. The actual post to hire more contact tracers went up on line about TWO days ago. We need 1300 to keep up with the work load. At the rate they are hiring, we might be up to 1200 by January.
They are ‘holding on to the mythology of their broken app.’ Ms. Notley says UCP all revere Ralph Klein, but Klein at least admitted when he was wrong. She talks about Shandro’s ‘honesty acrobatics’ and refusal to admit what everyone knows.
Shandro is the worst health minister Alberta has ever had. No argument there! The government is ‘criminally negligent’ in ignoring the modelling and evidence from around the world. ‘When you have an emergency like this, you don’t get lost playing hide and seek.’
Ms. Notley says we need to enforce the recommendations of the CMOH. There need to be people hired at workplaces who have the expertise to investigate workplace safety and make sure it is happening.
Rachel Notley is shocked we’re the only province with no mask mandate. ‘What’s the problem? You’ve got people like the member from Lac Ste. Anne, who you all know is not your go-to guy for science info., saying masks cause covid. What are you afraid of?’
She wants to know if they think it’s a failure to go along with the rest of Canada on the masks? It’s not like they’re going with the feds. They’d actually be going along with other conservative premiers.
Now for schools and how the contact tracing can’t keep up. A month ago there was already a huge lag. A canary in a coal mine.
She says LaGrange was calling them Chicken Little when there were ‘only’ 1% of schools affected, then 2% etc. 40% of schools in Edmonton have covid right now.
Children DO get covid and they do spread it, and literature suggests they may spread it more than adults. Literature suggests schools do increase the rate of spread.
Schools were told to implement protocols with no $$ resources to do it. Schools have less money than they did last year.
There was $1B to spend on Keystone that may never be built, but none to spend on school.
She is worried about how many people in the UCP caucus, like Miranda Rosen (pandemic’s over);Getson (masks=virtue signalling) Todd Loewen (hand washing is hard) and Jason Stephan (excessive risk aversion)for their inability to grasp the seriousness and severity of the situation.
Someone stopped their car by Rachel Notley walking home last week and called out to her “Are they ever going to do anything?”
Albertans need their government to step up and do its job.

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More from @BarbLarochelle

22 Nov
I don’t want to seem paranoid, but I really feel that despite their truly superhuman efforts to follow all possible protocols, schools are driving this covid spread to a far greater degree than the government will admit. 1/10
We know there has been in school transmission in 166 schools. We’re told ‘about half’ spread to “only one” other case. Let’s examine that claim. The way this government equivocates, we can be sure that ‘about half’ is not less than half or exactly half or they would say so. 2/10
So, at a minimum, 84 of 166 schools had more than one case transmitted. If those schools had only 2 cases as a result, we get (84 x 2)+ 82 (with one case)= 250 cases. Minimum. However, the schools with >1 other case—how many others? It could be a LOT more than 2. 3/10
Read 10 tweets
19 Nov
I want Dr. Hinshaw to succeed in convincing Albertans to do the right thing. I could hear her frustration today. But her media availability was full of equivocation. She was asked for details, numbers, concrete examples...1/6
and instead we heard ‘it depends’, ‘we’re not sure yet’, ‘we’re monitoring that’, ‘there are many factors’ or ‘I have not been part of that conversation.’ For me, at least, it sounds like there is no plan. The threat of ‘more intrusive measures’ seems empty because...2/6
there is no indicator of what that means. At all. We blew past the 50% ICU capacity trigger and then some. I understood when she first said 35 of 70 in ICU that *something* would happen. Nothing did. New York closed their schools today at the 3% testing positivity, like 3/6
Read 6 tweets
18 Nov
I’m trying to get most of my holiday shopping done online and early. But, I still want to spend as much as possible in Alberta. Please reply with your favourite (or own!) Alberta businesses that have online shopping + delivery or curbside pickup! Add a brief description. Retweet!
I’ll add a few to my own thread.
I love these shops in Edmonton:

Read 4 tweets
16 Nov
I’ve got a journalism degree. I can think up good questions!
Here are some:
-if kids can be asymptomatic, like you said, how do you know those kids aren’t bringing it home from school?

-is anyone checking to see that close contacts who were quarantined ARE being tested? 1/5
-Please explain how 30 kids much closer together than 2m eating lunch in a classroom with no masks on is different than a party?

-Please explain how a group fitness or kids’ dance class is different than a PE class at school?
-Students can be in a room together for 6 hours, mostly with masks on, but a lot closer together than 2m. Please explain why this is safer than having a few masked guests over to my home, for 2 hours who *can* be 2m apart.
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
My great grandfather moved to Edmonton as a teen in 1878, when his father, who had been an Arctic explorer, then chief factor for the Hudson Bay Co. , settled here. My great grandfather earned his own living for many years driving a stagecoach, delivering mail and passengers 1/8
to and from the Edmonton area, going from Fort Saskatchewan down to Calgary and back. He also kept a livery stable and people paid to keep their horses there. One of his brothers also drove a stagecoach and another was a prospector, looking for gold and silver in Alaska. 2/8
My grandfather didn’t drive a stagecoach like his father because that was no longer a career choice by the early 1920s. Instead, he became a journeyman tinsmith with his own sheet metal shop in Jasper Place. My dad apprenticed with him and worked there too. 3/8
Read 8 tweets
15 Oct
Suppose I am a healthcare worker ( I did work 3 summers of university doing light housekeeping and serving meals on ward kitchens of a hospital, so I can imagine). The UCP lays me off my job and I am rehired by the new private contractor for $5/hr less and no benefits. 1/1
They also hired fewer people to do the same work. Now I work harder, but make $200/wk less and also have to budget for prescription medication, dental work or other expenses. So my spending power is reduced. $200 a week is the equivalent of my grocery budget. I still need 2/2
groceries, so what else can I cut? Eating out? Gone. A new vehicle I wanted? Not this year. Some renos for my home? Will have to wait. Tickets to an event? Too extravagant. Some new clothes my kids want but don’t exactly need? I’ll find them for cheaper or buy less. 3/3
Read 5 tweets

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