Justin Trudeau says Ottawa will send ventilators to Alberta as he called the COVID-19 situation in the province “heartbreaking”, while Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole declined to say whether he The still premieres support Jason Kenny’s pandemic response.
The backlash from Mr Kenny’s decision to declare a state of public-health emergency and introduce a vaccine passport system in the province hit the federal campaign trail on Thursday, with the Liberal leader criticizing Mr O’Toole’s past support of the Alberta premier . In return, Mr O’Toole followed Trudeau for calling the election in the middle of a pandemic, and said the estimated $600 million spent on the campaign could have been sent to the provinces to fight the highly contagious Delta variant. .
Speaking in Montreal on Thursday, Mr Trudeau said the situation in Alberta was “heartbreaking”, noting that most people in the province have been vaccinated and are trying to recover from the pandemic and get back to normal. .
“And yet, the cases have increased massively; Sanctions are being rolled back and they need support and help,” Trudeau said, instructing the Privy Council clerk to offer Alberta any support necessary.
“Ventilators are on the way. There’s more we can do, whether it’s sending more medical professionals as we did in Ontario a few months ago when they were overwhelmed. We’re going to make sure Albertans get the support everyone in this country needs to get through this time. “
Alberta Health Services CEO Verna Yiu said Wednesday that the agency is asking other provinces if they can take patients to the Alberta intensive care unit, as well as if they can send front-line staff. He did not elaborate on how many patients he might need to send out of the province or how many additional staff the province would need.
AHS announced earlier this month that it was using private staffing agencies to increase its supply of nurses.
National Defense spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande said Canada’s armed forces do not currently have requests for assistance to support COVID-19 efforts in Alberta. Ontario officials are currently looking into the kind of aid they can provide to Alberta, said Alex Hilken, a spokesman for Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott.
Mr Trudeau said Mr Kenney, who this summer apologized on Wednesday evening for his government’s decision to treat COVID-19 as an “endemic” disease like the flu, said “the choices that leaders make in the face of the crisis” Do it in case.”
“To fight this pandemic, to keep people safe, to prevent further lockdowns, to not take half measures to further slow down the growth of our economy,” Mr Trudeau said.
The Liberal leader was asked by a reporter why his government had not made more efforts to intervene in Alberta earlier if he was concerned about the province’s decision to lift all restrictions this summer. He said his government is there to support the provinces and promised to bill for provincial vaccine certification programs. The federal government has not brought in its own vaccine passport system, and Mr Trudeau’s government announced plans for mandatory vaccinations only for federal employees and travelers on the eve of the federal election campaign.
“If Alberta had gone ahead when other provinces were doing this, things might be better now. But it’s not my job to judge, or criticize, or certainly not tell people what to do.” ,” Mr Trudeau said.
During a visit to the province in July, in which he met with Kenny, Trudeau said Ottawa has had several calls with Alberta over the past year and a half because of the pandemic, but also a wide range of issues, and It has been “working together as a federation, I think, with excellent results.” But the liberal leader criticized Mr O’Toole for his recent praise of the Alberta premier’s handling of the pandemic.
In an October 2020 video, Mr O’Toole says Mr Kenny navigated the pandemic “much better” than the federal government. “Federal conservatives can learn a lot from us when it comes to getting our country back on track” [United Conservative Party] Cousins,” said the Tory leader. On Sunday, Mr O’Toole said Alberta had “the best contact tracing efforts” during the first wave of the pandemic.
During a campaign stop on Thursday at a curling club in St John, NB, Mr O’Toole declined to say whether he continued to support Mr Kenny’s handling of the health crisis.
Despite numerous questions from reporters about the issue, Mr O’Toole only said he supported the provinces in their efforts to fight COVID-19, and called for a fight with the provinces during the election called by the Liberals. for condemning Mr Trudeau.
“I have consistently said that we will work with the provinces and respect the decisions they take regarding fighting the wave of the delta version of COVID-19. each province [is] Advancing the best decisions for the health and economic stability of our provinces,” Mr O’Toole said.
He also said liberals should have been tougher on border measures earlier in the pandemic to prevent the Delta version from entering Canada.
“Instead of doubling our resources to fight this delta spread, [Mr. Trudeau] Election called. This $600 election cost could help all the provinces in their fight. Therefore, as Prime Minister, I will be present in the provinces as the wing man to fight against Kovid-19.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh also addressed the crisis in Alberta during a halt in Toronto on Thursday. “I want the people of Alberta to know that we are here for you,” he said. “We’re going to call for the military and all possible assistance to get out of Alberta to support the people.”
Mr Singh was asked whether this situation would affect how the party would campaign in Alberta over the next few days. He said he was changing his approach to the province, but did not give details. Asked whether NDP candidates in Alberta would still knock on the door, Mr. Singh said they were “assessing that right now.”
Mr Singh also said that he condemned the way Mr Kenny has handled the issue, he also denounced Mr Trudeau’s leadership. “Both conservatives and liberals have failed in this regard,” he said, adding that the election should not have been called in the middle of the fourth wave. “Right now we may be in Ottawa passing legislation to help Albertans.”
With a report by Maneka Raman-Wills in Toronto and James Keller in Calgary
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