Just days before a federal "snap" election that could see PM Justin Trudeau ousted, Alberta's Health Minister Jason Kenney on Thursday went back on his promise not to impose vaccine passports in the Canadian province of Alberta - even pledging to fight back if the federal government tried to enforce one - and declared a state of emergency that will leave unvaccinated Albertans essentially trapped inside their own homes.
At Kenney's behest, Alberta’s Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced that the Government of Alberta will be implementing several restrictions effective Sept. 16.
All Canadians must mask up at work, and any Canadians who can must work from home. Individuals must provide proof of vaccination, or a recent negative test, simply to enter a business - and the unvaccinated will not be permitted to attend any private indoor social gatherings as well.
Here's the rules on social gatherings from Alberta's COVID information page.
Indoor social gatherings
- Vaccinated: Indoor private social gatherings are limited to a single household plus one other household to a maximum of 10 vaccine-eligible, vaccinated people and no restrictions on children under 12.
- Unvaccinated: Indoor social gatherings are not permitted for vaccine-eligible people who are unvaccinated.
In what some might interpret as an insult to Albertans' intelligence, Shandro and Kenney are refusing to call a spade a spade. The tiered vaccine passport system they have implemented resembles the passport in every way, yet they're trying to turn it on its heads, calling the "restrictions exemptions program."
What's more, as the COVID case numbers rise, vaccine passports are likely coming to the rest of the country, one province at a time.
Rebels News declared the whole thing "pure political theater". Unfortunately for the Conservatives, the backlash probably won't redound back on Trudeau.