EDMONTON — The Alberta government is promising to give up controversial pandemic powers it gave itself back in spring — powers that already existed during a public health emergencies — and is repealing a portion of the Public Health Act that would have, in theory, allowed the government to mandate vaccinations.
“We’re going to be removing those powers that ministers have during a public health emergency and leaving it for legislation to be amended by the legislature as it should be,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro in an interview.
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A timeline for the changes isn’t?clear: The government is awaiting recommendations from a special committee of the legislature that’s studying the Public Health Act, though those are expected this fall.
In short, during a public health emergency, the government already had wide-ranging powers to modify legislation and enforce mandates such as quarantines. Shandro said these powers were added in the wake of 9/11, and until now, had never been used.