Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton on June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta Premier says he won’t ‘take a lecture’ from federal health minister on COVID

CALGARY — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he won’t “take a lecture” from federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu on how to handle COVID-19.

Hajdu earlier penned a letter to her Alberta counterpart saying she agrees with the Canadian Paediatric Society’s description of Alberta’s move to lift all COVID-19 measures as an “unnecessary and risky gamble.”

Numerous political leaders and health-care experts across Canada have condemned Alberta’s decision to eliminate isolation, testing and contact tracing measures.

Kenney says he respects the advice of Alberta’s top doctor, and the federal government should do the same.

The premier went on to describe Hajdu’s letter as a political ploy.

He also criticized the federal minister’s handling of COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic.

Earlier Friday, Alberta’s Opposition NDP called on Kenney to release internal modelling that the government says supported its decision to eliminate its public heath measures.

NDP deputy leader Sarah Hoffman said the government needs to release the data, so Albertans can make decisions on their health and gauge the risks — especially as cases spike.