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Notley says new COVID-19 restrictions came too late

Last Updated Dec 9, 2020 at 6:11 am MDT

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks during an announcement in Edmonton on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – NDP leader Rachel Notley is speaking out following the new COVID-19 restrictions announced by the province Tuesday afternoon.

Notley says Premier Jason Kenney acts as if he had no choice but to implement tougher restrictions, but adds he had many other choices and opportunities to act decisively.

“But at every turn, he failed to make the tough choice that public health expertise and public health evidence clearly pointed to – at least until today. The lockdown announced today (Tuesday) comes late, however. We are at five to ten times the case rate experienced in other provinces when they took exactly the same action.”

However, during question period in the legislature Tuesday, Notley continued to criticize the UCP’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Lockdown of bars, gyms, salons; provincial mask mandate among new COVID-19 restrictions

On Monday, Kenney said a majority of any positive COVID case don’t exhibit symptoms, meaning they are not sick.

Notley says, Kenney is downplaying the severity of the virus and is demanding he retracts what he said.

“So premier, you say these Albertans aren’t sick but you’re not a doctor so clear this up, who’s right? The combined medical expertise of the worlds leading health researchers or you,” said Notley. “The majority of Albertans will not get sick from COVID-19 who are infected. That’s what the premier said read the record.”

Government House leader and Minister of Environment, Jason Nixon was quick to respond to Notley’s comment.

“The premier has in no way said that it is not serious, in fact, he’s taken on unprecedented steps, Mr. Speaker to be able to help Albertans to bend the curve, Mr. Speaker, we are going to continue to do that. The NDP, unfortunately, they will just want to shut everything down and be damned with the consequences.”

“We are going to work again Mr. Speaker to protect lives and livelihoods Mr. Speaker we are not going to join the NDP and play politics on this and to the leader of the official opposition – shame on you,” added Nixon.