Friday, January 22, 2021

Bell: Kenney holds COVID-19 hard line facing an angry Alberta

Bell: Kenney holds COVID-19 hard line facing an angry Alberta

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The question.

Does Premier Jason Kenney think the stink about politicians and staffers in his United Conservative government high-tailing it out of the country while the rest of us soldier on through a Christmas holiday lockdown makes it more difficult for his government to now make a decision on the COVID-19 file?

Does it make it harder for them to hold to their hard line, this government who talked a lot about really not liking lockdowns?

“It is certainly a factor that weighs on us,” admits Kenney.

At a meeting of his COVID brain trust on Thursday, he says he was “very blunt about that.”

He says as the scandal unfolded, the light bulb went on.

“I realized there is a very real problem this could impair the moral authority of government to ask Albertans to continue to make these deep sacrifices.”

But Kenney says he cannot let political considerations infect decisions.

“We have to continue keeping our eye on the ball.”

Loyal readers of this column know Kenney began playing a different ball game late last year and then there was the lockdown and then Jason Kenney’s Flying Circus.

Now the Kenney government, beaten up, wounded, has lost some of its mojo.

On Thursday, Kenney tells us current restrictions on our freedom are staying in place for at least two more weeks.

Despite Albertans being the best behaved in the country over the holidays and the number of active COVID cases dropping, there is no relief.

Not even a haircut or kids playing hockey or a small gathering outside or a cup of coffee inside.

The premier says the number of COVID patients in hospitals and in intensive care has gone down but the numbers are still too far too high.

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