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Some highlights of Alberta’s COVID-19 panel report

EDMONTON — A panel looking into Alberta’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has put forth more than 90 recommendations for how to deal with future emergencies. 

Here are some of the recommendations from the Public Health emergencies Governance Review Panel, chaired by former Reform Party leader Preston Manning:

— Ensure that premier and cabinet co-ordinate and manage the response to public emergencies through the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

— Support the premier with a roster of scientific advisers from multiple disciplines through the AEMA.

— Strengthen the protection of Albertans’ rights and freedoms, particularly with amendments to the Alberta Bill of Rights. 

— Treat children’s education as an essential service during a public emergency and avoid school closures to prevent harms to students’ socialization and learning skills. 

— Amend the Alberta Bill of Rights to include the right for people to not be deprived of the means of earning a living, caring for their family or functioning in society.

— Amend the Employment Standards Code to not allow permanent dismissals of non-compliant employees during a temporary public emergency and to provide for leaves of absences in such cases. 

— Amend the Health Professions Act to require all colleges to recognize and protect the rights of members to freedom of expression, including opinions relating to public health emergencies.

— Make the hospital funding model more flexible so facilities can better access resources as caseloads surge. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2023

The Canadian Press