Premier Danielle Smith said Saturday that she will take steps to ensure there is no face mask in Alberta schools.
His announcement came days after a judge in the Court of King’s Bench ruled the government had acted “recklessly” when it removed the mandate for schools from the last winter.
The government was challenged over that decision in court by the families of five autistic children and the Alberta Federation of Labour.
In a statement released on Saturday, Smith said his government will not accept the previous mandates in Alberta’s K-12 education system.
“The negative consequences of hiding children’s mental health, development and education in classrooms are becoming increasingly clear, and the page must be turned at a very difficult time for children, their parents and their teachers,” read the post. said the Prime Minister.
Smith said he is instructing the justice minister to investigate whether the government will file an appeal against Thursday’s court decision.
He added that he had instructed the ministers of justice, health and education to look into “any constitutional or legislative changes necessary to establish or clarify the full authority of our government for this and other health and education issues.”
Postmedia reached out to the prime minister’s office with a number of questions, including research or studies that he says are about the negative mental health consequences of secrecy, and whether restrictions on rights will affect representative management in private schools. A spokeswoman for the prime minister’s office said it would take until Monday to answer those questions because some government officials are not available over the weekend.
In his ruling on Thursday, Judge Grant Dunlop ruled that schools can make their own rules on confidentiality, despite an earlier statement from Education Minister Adrianna LaGrange to the contrary – something that was doubt at that time.
The Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday suggested that the government should ban that with laws. That’s a step backwards, says Bradley Lafortune, executive director of Public Interest Alberta, a progressive advocacy group.
“There is an understanding among many Albertans that COVID is not over yet, that there may be changes in the future, or an increase in cases and severity of cases that may require future interventions in the form of public health practices,” he said.
Lafortune said it’s important to allow various government entities such as school boards to make independent decisions within their jurisdictions.
“To me, it’s about the government’s perspective, and the public health perspective,” he said.
Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, said the court case does not force Alberta students to wear face masks all the time. But it is about ensuring that schools have the opportunity to exercise discretion when needed.
“Our goal is to ensure that school boards and public health authorities have the necessary tools in their toolkit to deal with the pandemic, when the death rate starts to rise again. , we’re seeing it now.”
Alberta Health disputes McGowan’s claim that cases are on the rise, pointing to new wastewater data.
The UCP ignored the investigation, the court decision to announce the reason for lifting the school mask mandate, union dues.
Hinshaw was ordered to produce materials related to his order to lift the school’s status
The lawyer asked that iOAT’s injunction be lifted as the clinics are set to close this month
McGowan said in the court case, it was found that the provincial data presented by the Chief Health Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw to the cabinet showed the effectiveness of the secret operation in the schools.
“Government data showed that schools with no safety nets had three times higher death rates than schools that did,” McGowan said. “Obviously, it worked.”
He said that conservative governments used to support the constitution, but he believes that Prime Minister Smith is doing the same when he violates the Public Health Act, which is a provincial law, not a by Ottawa.
“What he’s saying is that public health decisions during a pandemic should be made by politicians based on logic, not by public health professionals based on science,” he said. talk.
“That kind of approach has gotten us into serious trouble. And if he continues down this path, all Albertans will pay the price.