#COVID-19: Comparing provinces with other countries 6 January Update

The standard charts can be found below.

There has understandably been a “feeding frenzy” regarding federal and provincial parliamentarians who have disregarded public health and their own government’s advice to forego travel, domestic or international, during the holidays.

In some cases, this has been to visit elderly family members (e.g., Sameer Zuberi and Kamal Khera of the Liberals, Niki Ashton of the NDP), in others for holidays (the various Alberta MLAs and Premier Kenney’s Chief of Staff, Quebec MNA Pierre Arcand) along with others.

Responsibility and accountability has been mixed. The federal NDP handled Ashton’s case the best, removing her quickly from her critic responsibilities, setting the tone for the federal liberals to follow sui. Ontario Premier Ford initially botched it being aware of his former finance minister Rod Phillips vacationing in St Barts but recovering quickly by accepting (insisting?) on his resignation. In rare tone deafness, Alberta Premier Kenney initial response not to sanction minister Allard, his Chief of Staff Huckabay and a number of MLAs, for travel during the holidays, that prompted outrage on all sides of the political spectrum and led to belated resignations and discipline.

Highly ironic given Kenney and the UCP reliance of “personal responsibility” and “good judgement” to reduce COVID risks when so many in the government have demonstrated neither.

Some good examples of Alberta commentary:

Rick Bell: Premier Kenney, it’s time to face the music

Don Braid: Kenney fires and demotes to spike scandal, but Albertans will decide if they forgive

And the contrary arguments from C2C’s editor George Koch:

In Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney first avoided meting out Ford-style punishment upon Allard and her fellow travellers. When the news broke, Kenney himself shouldered much of the blame and said he would provide new and crystal-clear “guidelines” covering ministers, MLAs and senior bureaucrats. The opposition, however, gleefully called for Allard’s headwhile the media republished tweets demanding Kenney’s own resignation. It has become fashionable to criticize nearly anything Kenney says or does; his handling of the pandemic is, according to one poll, approved of by just 30 percent of Albertans.

Personally, I found the Alberta premier’s initial response not only courageous but admirable and honourable. Unlike Ford and innumerable politicians, corporate leaders and heads of other organizations in countless analogous situations, Kenney declined to throw Allard under the bus. This is not the first time Kenney has gone to the mat for a subordinate, at considerable short-term political cost to himself. Who would you rather work for? Further, someone who clearly cares about the people who work for him might, just might, also be sincere in his concern for small businesspeople and voters at large.

Sadly, however, Kenney ultimately could not resist the stinking red tide of public opinion; on Monday, he accepted Allard’s resignation from cabinet, as well as that of his chief of staff, who had travelled to the UK, and demoted the other MLAs.

Source: https://c2cjournal.us19.list-manage.com/track/click?u=e8efce716429c34122979e2de&id=cb2f1e50a3&e=4174a59277

Minor week to week changes:

Infections per million: Sweden moves ahead of UK which in turn moves ahead of France, Canada total ahead of Prairies

Deaths per million: Germany moves ahead of Canada

And the standard weekly charts and table.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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