Alberta to hold review of COVID-19 response ahead of possible second wave
Barber Salim Alhaj, cuts the hair of client, John Gee, of Calgary, who came to the Kingsview Barbershop on its re-opening in Airdrie, Alta., Thursday, May 14, 2020, amid a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CALGARY -- The Kenney government has opened a request for proposal to organizations to conduct a third-party review of the province's COVID-19 response.
It says the investigation will help determine if Alberta is adequately equipped to deal with a second wave of coronavirus, should one occur in Canada.
"A strong, coordinated response can help save lives, prevent wide-scale spread of disease and help jobs and the economy bounce back more quickly," the province says in a release.
The review is expected to look at:
- Health system response
- Economic response
- Governance and decision-making
- Engagement with other governments and stakeholders
The government says the review will be similar in nature to the ones performed in response to the 2016 Horse River fire in Fort McMurray, the 2013 floods in southern Alberta and the 2011 Slave Lake fire.
Alberta NDP welcomes review
The Alberta NDP was glad to hear of the government's plans to conduct an independent review of the COVID-19 response but reiterated calls for public officials to answer questions about a number of outbreaks in Alberta.
It has sought answers from Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer, Labour Minister Jason Copping as well as those in charge of companies and long-term care facilities where outbreaks occurred.
"This review must include accountability to the public," said NDP health critic David Shepherd in a release. "The premier, his ministers, CEOs, all of them, must be subject to public questioning.
"The bottom line is the review of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be done behind closed doors."
The deadline for submissions is Aug. 10 and a successful candidate is expected to be chosen by Aug. 19 so the results can be completed by the fall.
According to the most recent data, there have been 8,596 cases of COVID-19 in Alberta. There are 592 active cases of the illness and 7,844 people have recovered.
So far, 160 people have died from coronavirus.