The UCP are off to a hilarious start this week, still stumbling to properly announce Alberta’s new COVID vaccine lottery.
You’d think it’d be an easy crowd pleaser—and simple to explain. ‘If you get your vaccine, we’ll put you in a draw for a million dollars!’ But by the end of day Monday, we had all sorts of variations from the Premier, the Health Minister, and their interminably-posting caucus staff. In one weird version presented by Kenney, you could enter the lotto, not bother with the shots, and then if you did get the winning ticket still claim the prize as long as you ran out and got vaccinated before picking it up.
The clear version of the whole thing is this: you aren’t automatically entered, but need to sign up for a ticket, and you’re not supposed to enter until you’ve had at least one shot. There will be three draws: at the ends of July, August and September. If you win, they will check to see if you were vaccinated.
It’s hard to predict whether this program will help with Alberta’s embarrassing vaccine reluctance. I do hope that it will. As for the bumbling in the rollout, maybe the Premier just felt awkward giving a gift so small. To put it in context: Jason Kenney could give away three million dollars again next year, and the year after, and for four centuries after that, and it still wouldn’t add up to the $1.3 billion he handed to TC Energy shareholders in his awful Keystone XL deal.
Another mass of unmarked graves has been found at a residential school site, this time in Manitoba. There were more than a hundred of these institutions across the country. It’s gutting to consider that we’ve barely scratched the surface here.
Writing for the Progress Report, Kevin Metcalf has the definitive story of the hateful Ontario loser Kevin J. Johnston—currently running for mayor of Calgary from a jail cell after he was arrested for threatening AHS workers. Metcalf has a way you can stick it to Johnston, too: Johnston owes Metcalf thousands of dollars in damages from a defamation judgment and Metcalf is seeking help with the legal proceedings.
The Alberta NDP are calling for a strong, evidence-based response to the recent surge in the toxicity of street drugs. But the UCP is sticking to much more modest measures, and has announced some new funding for detox beds and a pilot program to research the use of nasal naloxone.
- Alberta’s auditor general blasted the government in a report last week on policies meant to make sure coal and oilsands mining companies clean up after themselves. To put the whole mess in stark dollars and cents: the government’s Mine Financial Security Program has $1.5 billion worth of security against $31.5 billion of liabilities.
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