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Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta, Feb. 3 2021.Jason Kenney / Youtube screen grab

EDMONTON, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) – The Premier of Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency in the province, imposing restrictions and a vaccine passport system.  

Premier Jason Kenney made the announcement yesterday, citing rates of hospitalizations associated with COVID. 

Kenney has stated repeatedly that the province would avoid vaccine passports, but on Wednesday he called the new system “the only responsible” thing to do.  

He said, “We must deal with the reality that we are facing. We cannot push it away, morally, ethically, and legally the protection of life must be our paramount concern.”

The vaccine passport system is not completely obligatory, and commercial organizations that adopt the system will be able to operate without any of the new restrictions as long as they deny access to unvaccinated individuals or those who cannot provide a negative test result. 

The premier did not acknowledge growing evidence that lockdowns and restrictions have resulted in more lives lost than saved. 

Kenney’s reversal occurred despite the fact that the Alberta public health closed 20% of ICU beds this year. Rebel News chief Ezra Levant called the strain on hospital resources combined with the closing of ICU beds a “manufactured” crisis, overseen by Tyler Shandro, the Alberta Minister of Health. 

Upon hearing the news of the new vaccine passport system in Alberta, People’s Party of Canada (PPC) leader Maxime Bernier tweeted: “Jason Kenney has just declared war on our Charter of rights and freedoms.”  

Bernier also called Kenney a “despot” and said that he will be in Alberta this weekend for the final stretch of campaigning before the federal elections on Monday. 

In early September, some national polls had the PPC polling at over 20% in Alberta, which would put them in second place behind the national Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), to which Kenney once belonged. Now the leader of Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP), Kenney is a former CPC minister who served in federal parliament under then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper. 

Russell Hillier, the son of anti-lockdown politician Randy Hillier, tweeted yesterday: “Let’s all thank Jason Kenney for adding another 10% to the PPC vote in Alberta.”  

However, it is not clear that the provincial premier’s decision will influence the voting decisions of disgruntled conservative voters in Alberta during Monday’s nationwide federal elections. The federal elections will not directly affect Kenny’s office. Nevertheless, the PPC is the only federal party that stands in firm opposition to lockdowns and vaccine passports.