COVID protests of a different tenor are happening daily in Alberta's big cities in opposition to the drastic rollback of COVID-prevention measures the UCP announced last Wednesday.
Noon rallies at the McDougall Centre in Calgary and the Legislature in Edmonton were drawing dozens last Friday, but that number has swelled to hundreds. Organizers intend to keep these rallies, and concurrent pressure campaigns like letter-writing to MLAs, going until at least the 16th, or when testing, contact tracing and isolation are reinstated. The Alberta NDP are meanwhile demanding the government commit to holding a public inquiry into how the pandemic has been handled, which does seem like a better use of that tool than what Steve Allan is presently putting it to.
Dr. Joe Vipond, a frequent critic of UCP COVID policy, speaks at an Aug. 3rd rally in Edmonton
Dr. Hinshaw cited cold and flu season last week as the justification for ending testing and contact tracing in most settings, though that does compel me to wonder why we just can’t prevent cold and flu season again this year with masks, like we did last winter.
Should you oppose the UCP’s repeal of COVID-prevention measures, you can simply join one of these rallies at noon, or if you’re outside of the two big cities, join the letter-writing campaign or give your UCP MLA, should you have one, a call at their office. Support Our Students is assisting with some of the organizing work here and can point you in the right direction if you can’t make the rallies.
Polling by Leger is showing two clear front-runners in the Edmonton and Calgary mayoral elections: in Edmonton it’s Amarjeet Sohi, broadly expected to maintain the trajectory of present mayor Don Iveson’s approach, with “irritable I-told-you-so guy” Mike Nickel trailing a fair bit behind as his only rival. In Calgary it’s Jeromy Farkas, most politely described as a right-wing populist; centrist Jyoti Gondek appears to be the leading not-Farkas choice. Establishment conservative Jeff Davison is splitting the right wing of the polls a bit, but as of right now it looks like with him quite a few big conservative donors may have backed the wrong horse.
The federal government has rejected Justice Minister Kaycee Madu’s request to legalize pepper spray, which Madu had proposed as a solution to rising incidences of hate crimes, particularly against Black Muslim women, in Alberta. This proposal was not very appreciated by members of the impacted communities who had not only been calling for several very specific and very different solutions, but who worried that handing everyone bear spray would lead to even more violence. Duncan spoke with Dr. Muna Saleh and Haiqa Cheema about this on the last episode of the Progress Report podcast.
Speaking of the pod, today’s episode is all about Duncan’s run in Alberta’s fake ‘Senate elections.’ You can subscribe to the Report on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and most of the other big podcast services. Check for it this evening.
- Could the next people hauled before an anti-environmentalist UCP inquiry be Corb Lund and the folks who protested against UCP coal policy? Law prof Martin Olszynski from the University of Calgary argues that by calling dissenters disloyal to Alberta, the Allan inquiry is setting a very dangerous precedent.
This is the online version of the Progress Report email newsletter. Don't depend on some social media or search engine algorithm to find this content in the future. Sign up to get updates on the most important local political issues in your inbox every week.