Premier Danielle Smith assured Albertans that vaccine policy changes would occur, but said more time is needed to get it right.
Mainstream media outlets reported that Smith backtracked on her promise to introduce an unvaccinated rights bill.
Global news reported that Smith “is reversing a promise to enshrine human rights protections for the COVID-19 unvaccinated in law this fall.” Likewise, CBC reported Smith “shelved” the bill.
However, Smith said it’s still “a huge priority for me.”
“Just making one amendment to one bill was not going to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens the next time around, so we realized it had to be a much broader review of legislation, probably much broader changes,” she said.
Smith also said she’s working on a vaccine policy “process I’ll tell you about very shortly.”
Smith previously said that unvaccinated persons were the “most discriminated group in Canada” that she’s seen in her lifetime.
On Monday, one reporter asked Smith why she wouldn’t introduce legislative changes right away, given her very public statements on unvaccinated persons.
Smith said “most employers” have made the responsible decision already to stop discriminating against unvaccinated employers. Additionally, she said she’s personally called employers to encourage them to reconsider their vaccine mandates.
Smith also said the bigger issue is to “ensure that we have a proper pandemic plan so this doesn’t happen again.”
“I didn’t want to do this as a bit of a slap-dash measure. I want to make sure that we’re solving this problem for the future so there will be more to come,” she said.
Smith also pointed to the fact that she’s come through on other health-related promises, including firing former Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) Dr. Hinshaw, as well as the entire Alberta Health Service (AHS) board.
“We do not want discrimination in our province. I don’t know if I can be more clear than that,” Smith said.