Alberta launching review into COVID-19 response
July 15, 2020
EDMONTON – Alberta is launching a third-party review into its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a move officials say will strengthen the province’s ability to address a potential second wave of the novel coronavirus.
The review is expected to begin around Aug. 19 and be complete in the fall. The consultant conducting the review has yet to be chosen, with a request for proposals open until Aug. 10.
Topics surrounding Alberta’s pandemic response – including its decision-making, procurement, communications, and economic and health system responses – are among those under review.
The province said the review will help shield Alberta against the economic or public health effects of a second wave of COVID-19 or any future pandemic.
It’s a similar review process to those conducted after some natural disasters, including the 2013 southern Alberta floods and the 2016 Fort McMurray fires.
The Opposition NDP praised the review but called for public testimony and questioning for some members of the UCP government and others involved with Alberta’s pandemic response.
Among those requested for testimony are Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro and the CEOs of Cargill and some continuing care providers where major COVID-19 outbreaks took place.
“The premier, his ministers, CEOs, all of them, must be subject to public questioning,” NDP health critic David Shepherd (pictured) said. “The decisions these individuals made – or failed to make – had a direct impact on Albertans. In some cases, people paid the ultimate price for mistakes by government and large corporations.”