EDMONTON, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) – Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) government under Premier Danielle Smith is looking to pass a new law that would hold politicians accountable in times of a health crisis by putting sole decision-making on them for health matters instead of unelected medical officers.
Last Tuesday, Bill 6, or the Public Health Amendment Act, was tabled for first reading in Alberta’s legislature by Justice Minister and Attorney General Mickey Amery.
The bill comes in direct response to a recent court ruling that declared certain public health orders effectively null.
At the end of July, Justice Barbara Romaine from Alberta’s Court of Kings Bench ruled that politicians violated the province’s health act by making decisions regarding COVID mandates without authorization.
The decision put into doubt all cases involving those facing non-criminal COVID-related charges in the province.
Bill 6 would make it so that the province’s medical officer would not be allowed to act as an official who has the sole power to lock people down in their houses or mandate certain things such as jabs.
Amery said about his bill in a press release that elected officials “have a responsibility to act in the best interests of Albertans and swear an oath to duly and faithfully execute the powers and trust imparted.”
“This legislation ensures that final decision-making authority and the accountability that must come with it rest with those entrusted by Albertans,” he added.
Speaking about Bill 6 at a press conference, Amery said the recent court ruling showed that “Alberta needs to clarify the roles and responsibilities of cabinet and medical officers of health, including the chief medical officer of health, so that we can be in line with our own legislation in future declared states of public health emergencies.”
“I’d also say that Albertans also want our elected representatives to help with decision-making as well. I think that it’s important that Albertans know that the people that they elected in to this government have a pivotal role in making those decisions on their behalf,” he added.
As a result of July’s court ruling, Alberta Crown Prosecutions Service (ACPS) said Albertans currently facing COVID-related charges will likely not face conviction but will instead have their charges stayed.
Thus far, café owner Chris Scott, Alberta pastors James Coates, Tim Stephens, and Artur Pawlowski, who were all jailed for keeping their churches open under the leadership of former pro-lockdown Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, have had the COVID charges leveled against them dropped due to the court ruling.
Countless others have had smaller charges laid against them for going against COVID mandates dropped as well. However, there are still some facing charges relating to border blockade protests.
After Kenney stepped down from his role as premier and leader of the UCP, Smith took over and fired the province’s top doctor, Deena Hinshaw, and the entire Alberta Health Services (AHS) board of directors, all of whom oversaw the COVID mandates.
Smith made headlines last October after promising to look at pardoning Christian pastors who were jailed for violating so-called COVID policies while Kenney was premier and for apologizing to those who were discriminated against for not getting the COVID shots.
Smith was not premier when the pastors were charged. She won the leadership of the UCP in October 2022 and then a subsequent general election earlier this year on a platform that was against COVID mandates after Kenney stepped down due to poor approval ratings.