P.E.I. approach to Omicron 'alarmingly complacent,' Opposition says

·2 min read
Both the government's response and the communication of that response have been lacking, says Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker. (Al MacCormick/CBC - image credit)
Both the government's response and the communication of that response have been lacking, says Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker. (Al MacCormick/CBC - image credit)

The P.E.I. government needs to take a firmer approach to dealing with the current spread of COVID-19, says Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker.

On Dec. 16, the province hit a new record for active cases of COVID-19 with 49. That number has continued to grow since, with the most recent report 867.

"I'm seeing an alarmingly complacent approach from this government," Bevan-Baker told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier on Monday.

"It feels jarring, it feels surprising, and a lot of Islanders, they're confused and they're worried."

Bevan-Baker was not specific about what a Green government would be doing differently.

He said he did not believe a full lockdown is required. He noted that in Quebec restaurant dining rooms are closed and personal gatherings are more strictly limited than they are on P.E.I.

While it appears disease caused by the Omicron variant is less severe, Bevan-Baker said P.E.I. needs to be thinking not just about the health of Islanders, but also about the stability of the health-care system.

"We already have a health-care system here on Prince Edward Island that with no COVID impact whatsoever was pretty stressed," he said.

"We have a tiny health-care system that's already overburdened."

'Clear is kind'

Bevan-Baker faulted the government not just for its response, but also for poor communication.

Parents need more information on the long-term plans for schools, he said, and it would be helpful to understand the severity of the current outbreak if the province released information on the positivity rates at testing sites.

"Clear is kind, and at the moment this government is not being clear, and not communicating as frequently or as fully as they could be with Islanders," said Bevan-Baker.

More information could ease Islanders' concerns, he said.

Bevan-Baker noted he is not playing politics on the issue. It is the Opposition's job to express the concerns of Islanders, he said.

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