‘It’s a shame.’ Trudeau responds to Alberta justice minister’s pandemic accusations

CALGARY — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is doing everything it can to support all Canadians through the pandemic and comments made by Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu accusing conservative “opponents” of wanting a health care collapse are “a shame.”

“I think it’s a shame to see people pointing fingers and laying blame and suggesting that anyone in Canada wants anything else but to get through this pandemic as safely as possible.”

Trudeau’s remark comes in response to a Facebook comment from Madu’s personal account made on May 8. In a response to another post, Madu wrote that that everything must be done to prevent Alberta’s health care system from being overwhelmed by surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“My point is that I don’t think it will be responsible to simply wait until we have a disaster on our hands,” Madu’s reply reads. “That’s what the NDP, the media and the federal Liberals were looking for and want. We simply couldn’t allow that to happen.”

Trudeau said he reached out to Premier Jason Kenney and the mayors of Edmonton and Calgary last week to offer federal support during the third wave of the pandemic. The prime minister adds that his government will continue to work with all governments to get through the pandemic. 

“I think that playing politics at this point is just not what Canadians want to see.”

The Alberta NDP called Madu’s comments “despicable” and demanded an apology from the minister. 

In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the senior press secretary for the minister said he refuses to apologize for the post.

“The minister was referring to the increasing tendency of different groups, including the NDP, to exploit the pandemic for their own political purposes. We see this every day with the NDP’s overcooked and incendiary rhetoric both in the legislative assembly and on social media.

“The minister won’t apologize for stating the obvious.”

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