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'These contentious issues have created division': UCP MLA pens letter apologizing for reimposed restrictions

Last Updated Sep 8, 2021 at 6:21 am MDT

UCP MLA Peter Guthrie Credit: Peter Guthrie/Facebook

CALGARY — An Alberta MLA has penned a letter to the province, apologizing for the way the UCP government handled reimposing restrictions in the province, and how it acted towards those who are unvaccinated.

Peter Guthrie, MLA for Airdrie-Cochrane, says as far as he knew, the province truly was “Open for Good,” yet, once again, the government has placed restrictions on constituents and for this, he offers his sincere apologies.

“I am reaching out to explain the situation before us, but not excuse what has occurred,” Guthrie said in the letter.

He goes on to talk about how the province watched as hospitalizations and ICU numbers rose, and how increased anxiety from the public on the healthcare system triggered discussions about mandatory vaccinations, masks, and vaccine passports.

“These contentious issues have created division within our community.”

Guthrie continues by saying while he believes in the effectiveness of vaccines, he supports the rights of people to choose for themselves and have control over their own bodies.

He says during last week’s announcement, the government adopted a “disparaging and accusatory tone towards 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.”

Guthrie also called out the $100 vaccine incentive, saying it has created animosity within the constituency and is not in favour of the negative tone adopted by leadership.

RELATED: ‘For the love of God, please get vaccinated:’ Alberta to offer cash to people getting COVID vaccine

He adds that with the significant strain on the province’s healthcare system, the province should be shifting its focus to finding a solution to the shortages the province is faced with.

Guthrie then turned his focus to QR codes and how it was revealed to him that the province would be introducing them for organizations to use as a vaccine passport.

He says while there are many varying opinions on vaccine passports, he is not convinced it is a good practice for domestic use and isolates those who aren’t vaccinated — adding this only builds on the divisions Alberta is already seeing.

He finished off by saying that he believes the UCP government can do better and that the province’s leaders are trying to balance public safety and individual liberty, which is a difficult task.