UCP MLAs question Kenney’s COVID-19 leadership

CALGARY –

A week after surviving an attempt to oust him as leader, two UCP MLAs again questioned Premier Jason Kenney’s leadership through the pandemic.

Angela Pitt, MLA for Airdrie-East, was asked Tuesday if she has confidence in Kenney’s leadership.

“The answer to that question is no, I don’t. And I don’t think that my constituents do either,” Pitt said.

Pitt has been critical of her government’s COVID-19 restrictions and cast doubt on the efficacy of vaccines. Earlier this month, as the UCP government was trying to boost immunization rates, she posted a picture showing a vaccinated and unvaccinated person holding hands with messages of support for choice.

“Some members who have been pretty consistently and publicly opposed to virtually any public health measures to our efforts to promote vaccination,” Jason Kenney said Tuesday, speaking of UCP MLAs. “We listen with respect to people across the political spectrum including in my own party.”

Among the dissenters is Red Deer MLA Jason Stephen, who was more diplomatic in his criticism.

“I admire and respect the premier and the things that he’s accomplished. I haven’t agreed with everything that the premier has said or done,” Stephen said, adding that responding to COVID must be the focus in the coming months. “There will be a spring leadership review and I think that that is an important thing to occur at that time.”

As of Wednesday the active case rate for Airdrie was 400.9 per 100,000 compared to 261.8 for Calgary. Vaccination rates are also slightly lower than in Calgary, but drop off significantly in the rural parts of the riding.

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