By Letter to the Editor on September 15, 2021.
While our premier was recharging his batteries, professional sports organizations and for-profit businesses and corporations have been operating freely. Unfortunately, many small arts and service organizations are still struggling to find consensus among their members on how to restart operations safely and without fear of litigation.
I am a member of several such societies, and each has struggled with growing impatience of members and dissonance within. This is due in large part to Mr. Kenney’s de facto policy that everyone must fend for themselves.
These societies are rightfully concerned that in the absence of any explicit rules – or even guidelines – from the government, they are at risk of being sued by anyone who contracts COVID while participating in the society’s activities. Lawyers throw up their hands when asked for opinions on what constitutes due diligence to reopen operations because there is no legislation or government policy on which to base a valid opinion.
The minefield of liability has been further obscured by the cancellation of contact tracing and gutting of COVID reporting requirements.
Non-profit societies provide irreplaceable services to hundreds of thousands of Albertans. Jason Kenney and the UCP have taken a “let them eat cake” approach to COVID regulations, and this dereliction of duty is paralyzing many non-profit societies in Alberta.
I urge Mr. Kenney to provide leadership that will permit a reasonable framework for these community service organizations to restart operations safely.