The pandemic is not over but Kenney and the UCP are removing safety protections, such as the mask mandate, for Alberta schools on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. To make matters worse, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange declared that they have removed the empowerment of school boards to continue with a mask mandate, presumably preventing boards from deciding what is best for their community.
Children under 5 have not yet received vaccines and 5-11 year olds have a low vaccination rate. Families chose their learning scenario in January based on having these protections in place and now these protections are being ripped out from under them. Immunocompromised children and students with complex needs must access essential programming at schools and these environments will become much more hazardous without protections.
We must invest in both immediate and long-term safety measures in schools. The relaxing of school safety protections by the UCP government is premature and we need to demand that the Alberta government adopt a more rational approach to ensure schools are safe for every child and education worker!