MLA Peter Guthrie Apologizes to Constituents after Jason Kenney Lied and Reimposed Restrictions

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on September 7, 2021

Due to Jason Kenney putting back in place public health restrictions, and most notably the mask-mandate, it seems that more of his caucus are starting to draw the line on what kind of behaviour they will accept out of their leader.

Just today Cochrane-Airdrie MLA Peter Guthrie sent out a letter to his constituents apologizing for the UCP government putting back in place the restrictions despite previously having said that “Alberta was not only ‘Open for Summer’ but ‘Open for Good.”

Guthrie, who is vaccinated, stated that:

Last Friday, the Government of Alberta announced restrictions adopting a disparaging and accusatory tone toward unvaccinated individuals. People refusing COVID-19 shots were painted as culpable for creating challenges to the healthcare system. This type of communication from our leader feeds a narrative of anger and division which is unproductive in an already turbulent time. The $100 vaccine incentive has also created animosity within the constituency and I am not in favour of the negative tone adopted by leadership.

During last week’s announcement it was also revealed to me that the province will be introducing a QR code for Albertans to use as proof of vaccination for organizations choosing to introduce a so-called ‘vaccine passport’.

Guthrie went on to note that the UCP government going from being against the idea of a passport to setting up the infrastructure so private businesses can enforce vaccine requirements is a clear shifted position. He also said that even private businesses requiring vaccine passports only “isolates individuals” who are unvaccinated and providing everyone else a “false sense of security.”

MLA Peter Guthrie.

MLA Peter Guthrie.

The main issue that Alberta is facing that Guthrie identified was the potential overwhelming of the hospital system, not people walking around unmasked.

Guthrie in the letter said:

With rising hospitalizations and fewer employees to manage the crisis we must review all options at our disposal, including wage incentives, increased use of rural facilities and the possible utilization of temporary private services. 

Kenney back in April of 2020 acknowledged that ICU capacities could be increased to over 1,000+ beds but instead focused on implementing public health measures with no significant impact on reducing infections. 

Guthrie is clearly angered by Kenney’s weak leadership and feels that continuing to keep silent about Kenney not keeping his word and restricting Albertans liberties could be dangerous to his own political career. 

Since Todd Loewen and Drew Barnes were kicked out of the UCP caucus earlier in the year after criticizing Kenney, it will be interesting to see if Guthrie’s softer language in his letter to constituents will keep him safe from being removed, or if Kenney will consider this to be unforgivable insubordination. 

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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