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Alberta

No lockdowns in Alberta if Emergency Management Agency was in charge – Former Executive Director David Redman

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As Canadians look south of the border it’s obvious different state governments have taken different approaches in the battle against Covid 19.  Some states have been opened entirely for months while in others, children haven’t been to school in an entire year.  But which approach is better when it comes to reducing Covid cases?  The State of Florida has been open during the entire second wave while New York State is just beginning to lift lockdowns. Despite the different approaches in Florida and New York, in both states cases are down to a third or less of where they were in early January.  Death rates are also down by two thirds since January in both states.

Alberta’s approach could have been vastly different too.  Premier Jason Kenney has the tough job of trying to balance the freedom to gather, to work and to worship, with the mandate to protect the health of Albertans by isolating us from teammates, workmates, and friendships.  As the ebb and flow of restrictions continues one year into the Covid experience, a growing number of people are convinced lockdowns are not an effective response.   But what is the alternative?

One person qualified to answer this difficult question is David Redman.  Redman is former Executive Director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.   Before that he spent over 25 years in the military, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel with vast experience in logistics.  As ED of the Emergency Management Agency, Redman traveled side by side with then Premier Ralph Klein when tragedy struck the province.  His role included formulating plans to deal with a variety of emergencies, including pandemics.  When an emergency occurred, the staff would immediately gather with leaders from government agencies and relevant private companies (power companies, etc).  Within 36 hours, they’d revise an existing plan and present the Premier with options for moving forward.

The province of Alberta’s website makes a bold statement about emergency management.  As this screen shot indicates Alberta’s Emergency Management Agency “leads and oversees all emergency and disaster prevention, preparedness and responses.” 

There’s only one problem with this bold statement.  In what has become the farthest reaching emergency in modern Alberta history, for some reason Alberta’s Emergency Management Agency is not co-ordinating Alberta’s response. Premier Jason Kenney is co-ordinating Alberta’s response with Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw, and others.

This is not sitting well with David Redman.  Redman says when the first wave hit and Alberta announced a general lockdown, Redman was shocked such drastic measures were being taken. He knew immediately the emergency response plan had been thrown out.

Redman began contacting all Canada’s premiers.  He put together a presentation to show what they were doing wrong and what they should be doing instead.  It’s taken months to gain traction, but the media is starting to pay attention to Redman as he shares his presentation to people all over Canada.

His main message; governments can do a far better job of protecting the vulnerable AND protecting the economy.  Even though the second major wave is ebbing and restrictions are slowly disappearing, Redman says the matter is still urgent.  He’s convinced Covid variants will ensure future waves and unless they pivot to a new approach, governments will go back to the tool they’ve been relying on… lockdowns.

This is an abridged version of the presentation Redman has been showing all over the country is his effort to get at least one Premier to show the rest of Canada a different way to react to this emergency.

Also part of David Redman’s presentation is this comparison between lockdown measures and Canada’s Annual Viral Infection Curve.  Redman shows the annual viral infection curve performed exactly as usual in the past year.  In this part of the presentation Redman shows how the lockdown restrictions have coincided with the curve and therefore lockdowns have not greatly affected the spread of Covid.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Fire investigators can't pin cause of fire at Edmonton-area seniors complex

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ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire investigators say they have been unable to figure out what caused a fire at an Edmonton-area retirement and long-term care complex last week.

Residents were forced to leave when the fire at the Citadel Mews West Continuing Care Facility in St. Albert broke out on May 6.

It destroyed part of the complex and three residents suffered smoke inhalation.

Investigators say the fire started on a ground-floor patio.

They say it spread from patio furniture to the underside of the deck above and from there up the siding into the building’s attic.

A damage estimate has yet to be made and investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze.

“This was a large and devastating fire where thankfully no one was seriously hurt,” St. Albert acting fire Chief Scott Wilde said Friday in a news release.

“If you live in a multi-family building, be aware of your building’s fire safety plan and practise your escape.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta health agency obtains restraining order against Calgary mayoral candidate

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CALGARY — Alberta Health Services says it has obtained a restraining order against a Calgary mayoral candidate who the agency says has threatened health workers.

AHS says Kevin Johnston must stay at least 100 metres away from health officers and must not publish any threats or hate speech directed at them.

Johnston is running in this fall’s municipal election and has been a vocal supporter of anti-lockdown protests.

He appears regularly online where he promotes far-right ideology.

AHS says Johnston has been aggressive and threatening towards two particular health workers as well as to the general AHS workforce.

The agency says it wants to protect staff and ensure they feel supported.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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