Alberta Premier Smith Seeks Legal Advice to Pardon COVID-19 Law Violators - Winnipeg Free Press

Alberta Premier Smith Seeks Legal Advice to Pardon COVID-19 Law Violators – Winnipeg Free Press

Edmonton – Alberta Premier Daniel Smith is seeking legal advice on whether she can pardon those who have been fined for non-criminal violations of health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Things that come to my mind are people who have been arrested as priests (and) fined for not wearing masks,” Smith told reporters on Saturday at the United Conservative Party’s annual general meeting.

“These are not normal things to get fines and be sued for. I will look at the range of pending fines and get some legal advice on fines we can rescind and pardon.”

Danielle Smith, Alberta Premier, speaks at the United Conservative Party general assembly in Edmonton, Saturday, October 22, 2022. The Canadian Press / Amber Bracken

Smith also expanded on her promise to introduce narrow changes to human rights law this fall to prevent discrimination based on COVID-19 vaccination status.

She said the law won’t focus on all vaccines, just COVID-19, because it’s a political issue, not a medical one.

“Because it was a very specific reaction to a very specific vaccine mandate, we will be very specific when we write the legislation,” she said.

“We have to go back to your position when taking a vaccine to protect yourself.

“(But) we have to get away from this situation that makes you demonize those who make a different choice.”

Smith has been vocal in her criticism of vaccine passports as well as employees, particularly in Alberta Health Services, who have not been allowed to work without a COVID-19 vaccine during the pandemic.

On her first day as prime minister earlier this month, she said the unvaccinated COVID-19 were the most recognizable group she had seen in her life.

During her address Saturday at her party’s general assembly, which was held at the River Cree Resort and Casino in the western suburbs of Edmonton, she reiterated her sharp criticism of Alberta Health Services, the government agency tasked with managing and providing frontline care under her oversight. Policy guidance from the Ministry of Health.

She blames it for Albertans’ failure during the pandemic to not provide enough beds to crush patients and force health workers to get COVID-19 vaccines to work.

It is putting the current long wait times for care and ambulance dispatch at AHS’s feet and has promised to completely reorganize the AHS management system and launch the AHS board of directors by mid-January.

“The system, my friends, is broken,” Smith told the 1,800 delegates in the hall.

“Most of those who run AHS today are leftovers from the NDP years. They had the opportunity to fix this bloated system and they pretty much failed on almost all accounts. “Failure is no longer an option,” she said gleefully.

Smith, speaking to reporters, also declined to divulge comments she made on the Western Standard online outlet in an on-air interview on Friday.

In that interview, Smith pledged to end AHS’s information-sharing deal with other health care providers such as Mayo Clinic and Harvard University under a program run by the World Economic Forum.

“We have to address that,” Smith said Friday.

“Why in the world do we have anything to do with the World Economic Forum? This has to end.”

Asked about the comments on Saturday, Smith declined to go into details, saying she was focused on health system reform.

When asked why she addressed the issue on the Western Standard streaming site but not at the press conference, she said, “You know, certain forums are entertainment forums. I’ve been on an entertainment forum for a long time (as a radio host)”.

The World Economic Forum is referring to an annual high-level conference of global political and business leaders which in mid-2020 proposed a “great reset” for joint action after COVID to realign society from education to social contracts and working conditions.

Since then, there has been a growing online conspiracy accusing the World Economic Forum of being a clandestine cabal of world leaders bent on using the pandemic as an opportunity to introduce radical social change to dismantle capitalism.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on October 22, 2022.

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