Alberta government to review handling of COVID-19 pandemic

The provincial government is looking to hire a third-party to conduct a review of how Alberta responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The review will look at all aspects of the province’s response, including how the health-care system managed the pandemic and what impact it had on the economy.

The government’s decision-making, communications and engagement with other levels of government will also be scrutinized.

Read more: Coronavirus: Alberta dental hygienists, assistants raising alarm over reopening

Similar reviews were done after the 2013 floods in southern Alberta and the 2016 Fort McMurray fire.

The province said the independent review will help strengthen any future pandemic responses.

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“A strong, co-ordinated response can help save lives,” read a government release. “It can prevent the wide-scale spread of disease and help jobs and the economy bounce back more quickly.”

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The consultant who takes on the review will be chosen by Aug. 19, and the government hopes to have the completed report sometime during the fall.

NDP reaction

David Shepherd, the NDP’s health critic, said he welcomes the review as an opportunity to hold the UCP government accountable for its decision-making.

Shepherd wants to see the report focus on the major outbreaks in the province, including at meat-packing plants in southern Alberta.

“The length of time that it took to respond to the issues that were raised by workers at the Cargill meat-packing plant [was concerning],” said Shepherd.

“I think Albertans would appreciate the opportunity… to understand why the decisions that were made were made and what better choices might be made in the future.”​

Read more: Group of Alberta doctors writes open letter about ‘substandard,’ ‘inadequate’ PPE masks

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Shepherd thinks that the concerns about the quality of PPE in the province should also be called into question.

The review will look at the government’s procurement as part of the report.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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