P.E.I. Green Leader says Tory premier’s scolding him on COVID-19 revealed as improper

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CHARLOTTETOWN – Prince Edward Island’s opposition leader says the rise in COVID-19 cases has exposed the inappropriateness of the premier’s public scolding over criticism of the government’s back-to-school pandemic policies.

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Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker put up a YouTube video on Friday recalling Tory Premier Dennis King saying critics had “annoyed him” when he called on the province to keep mandatory masking requirements for schools. was called upon.

In late August, King said he would hear politicians asking him “this or that”, and continued, “If you were in my job, would you take the advice of a partisan politician or a chief public health officer.” Who is a Rhodes scholar, who is an infectious disease specialist?”

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The green leader is now saying it is angered by the Premier’s lack of response to his criticism, and notes that there have been transitions in many schools.

Health officials on Saturday reported three new cases of COVID-19 on the island, two of which involved close contacts of the outbreak at West Royalty Elementary School. There have also recently been outbreaks at the cole la-Belle-Cloche in Rolla Bay and Charlottetown Rural High School in Charlottetown.

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Bevan-Baker noted that he had called for improvements to the school’s ventilation system and wanted students to continue to wear masks at all times, arguing these suggestions did not warrant King’s disapproval and outburst.

In his video statement to students, parents and teachers, Bevan-Baker said he strongly supports recent measures that have included closing all Charlottetown schools and a major testing effort, but he asked King for his views on the future. Called to stop ignoring

“What bothers me is that when the islanders raised genuine concerns about their health and safety, they received a scolding from the premier,” he said in his video statement.

The province announced on Saturday that it had 46 active cases, the highest level seen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are about 540 cases of school that are in self-isolation.

Of the three new cases announced on Saturday, two were close contacts linked to the outbreak at West Royalty Elementary School, and have been in isolation. The second new case was related to travel outside the province.

The province has announced that all schools on the island are going back to cohorting and masking for students in grades 4 to 12.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 18, 2021.

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