Alberta’s minister of labor and immigration took to social media to criticize Ottawa’s “tyrannical” pandemic travel restrictions and thank “freedom convoys” for their efforts against them.
In a tweet responding to news that the federal government may end COVID-19 border requirements, Kaycee Madu said the measure “has never been about science but political control and power.”
“Thank you to all those citizens, freedom convoys, who had the courage to stand up against these tyrannical policies,” Madu’s Twitter account read on Tuesday.
“They endured much hate, abuse, pain and slander on behalf of all of us. I thank them!” continued the former Solicitor General and Justice Minister’s tweet.
The comment came after it was reported on Tuesday that the federal government was leaning towards scrapping the vaccine requirement for people entering Canada – ending random COVID-19 testing at airports – and making the use of the optional ArriveCan app by the end of this month.
These travel restrictions were part of pandemic measures that sparked large protests earlier this year, including those that blocked Ottawa streets for several weeks and blocked international borders, such as in Coutts, Alberta.
It was never about science but about political control and power. Thank you to all these citizens, convoys of freedom, who had the courage to mobilize against these tyrannical policies. They have endured much hatred, abuse, suffering and defamation on behalf of all of us. I thank them! https://t.co/E9talumDtW
Four men have been charged with conspiracy to murder RCMP officers after they were arrested in Coutts in February.
Alberta protesters also opposed a number of COVID-19 rules introduced in the province, including mask mandates, vaccine requirements, collection limits and trade restrictions. All have since been lifted.
Madu had previously expressed support for at least some of these public health measures.
In May 2021, Madu posted in the comments section of another user’s Facebook page that his government must impose stricter public health measures or run the risk of leaving Albertans “in makeshift field hospitals. , out of breath because we have [run] out of fans, out of manpower, etc.”
Asked about Madu’s remarks on Wednesday, Prime Minister Jason Kenney said he was not monitoring Twitter and suggested that if reporters want to hear “views or clarifications from him” from the minister, they should tell him. talk.
CBC News called Madu’s press office for further comment.
Kenney said his government is consistently opposed to “unnecessary” federal travel restrictions, especially those implemented in December last year that are still in place.
However, he stood by the decisions made by his own government.
“Our commitment to Albertans was not to allow our hospitals to be overwhelmed,” Kenney said.
“We stepped in with tough decisions many times to reduce transmission, and we had tough decisions to make, like all governments in all parts of the world.”
He said Alberta has the least restrictive COVID regime in Canada.
Although Kenney hasn’t weighed in on Madu’s remarks about the ‘freedom convoys’, NDP Leader Rachel Notley said they shouldn’t get any thanks from the former justice minister. ‘UCP.
“Coutts blockade was illegal,” she wrote on Twitter.
Lori Williams, a professor of political studies at Mount Royal University, said she was surprised that a former justice minister would make such “cavalry” remarks.
“I was kind of struck that a former justice minister was defending the activities of people, some of whom broke the law, some of whom violated the rights and freedoms of other Canadians,” he said. she declared.
“The decisions that are made are mostly based on health care.”
Earlier this year, Madu was kicked out as Alberta justice minister after an investigation found he had tried to interfere with the administration of justice.
An investigation was launched in January following revelations that Madu had phoned Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee to discuss a $300 distracted driving ticket he received on March 10, 2021. .
Due to the findings of the report. Kenney felt that Madu should no longer be justice minister but would remain in cabinet.