Calgary, July 30, 2021 – Earlier this week, the Province of Alberta announced plans to lift public health restrictions to curtail the spread of COVID-19, putting children and youth at very grave risk. The change in policy includes no longer requiring mandatory isolation of people who test positive for COVID-19, no contact tracing, no isolation of close contacts, and no mandatory masking for indoor settings. Alberta is the only jurisdiction in the world to remove all such measures and is in direct contradiction of WHO guidance.
There are more than half a million children under the age of 12 in Alberta who are not yet eligible for vaccination. The lack of public health measures will significantly jeopardize their ability to safely return to school this fall or be safe within their communities. Children’s basic rights to life, survival and development, along with their right to an education, will be violated by the lifting of public health restrictions.
Alberta has a legal and moral duty to ensure the safety and security of its children. Alberta is the only province in the country that has a Children First Act, which provides a legislative mandate to improve the security, education, health, safety and well-being of children and youth in Alberta. Alberta is also bound to protect children’s rights under international law through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In May, we applauded the Alberta government for becoming the first province in Canada to publicly respond to Children First Canada’s declaration of #codePINK and commit to addressing the short-, medium-, and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on children, by commissioning the Child and Youth Well-Being Panel Review led by Minister Rebecca Schulz and MLA Matt Jones.
Considering the province’s duty and stated commitments to ensure the well-being of children, Children First Canada calls on the Government of Alberta to ensure that public health measures are re-introduced immediately to ensure the safety of children, their families, and our province.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Tel: (403) 510-3505
About Children First Canada:
Children First Canada (CFC) is a national charitable organization that serves as a strong, effective, and independent voice for all children in Canada. CFC harnesses the strength of many organizations and individuals that are committed to improving the lives of children in Canada, including children’s charities and hospitals, research centres, government, corporations, community leaders, and children themselves. Visit childrenfirstcanada.org for more information.