At the beginning of September, Alberta introduced some pandemic control measures. But Dr. Schwartz said that they were inadequate and often ineffective.
“As if an alcohol curfew of 10 p.m. could ward off the virus,” he said. Rather than keeping crowds from packing nightclubs, Dr. Schwartz added, the measure only meant that “people were just going out to party earlier.”
On the day of Mr. Kenney’s apology, his government announced a variety of renewed restrictions and rules, including those involving masks. But given the level of severity of the situation, Dr. Schwartz said that the new safety measures would not be nearly enough to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed. Alberta, in his view, needed to introduce a “hard lockdown” where most things other than essential retail and services would be closed.
He particularly noted, with disapproval, the plans to allow N.H.L. games to take place in front of tens of thousands of fans in Calgary and Edmonton. While fans will need proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result to enter, several news outlets have reported that Alberta’s vaccine document, like Ontario’s, can be easily edited or faked using only minimal computer skills.
“We really have no option but to go into a hard lockdown, what we’re calling a firebreak,” he said. “Basically, we have a raging forest fire — Albertans are familiar with the imagery. We’re calling for removing some of the combustible elements, in this case people, out of the way.”
Instead, Mr. Kenney’s government has mostly promised to give more resources to hospitals. However, Dr. Schwartz said that such extra resources were impossible to provide because of shortages of trained medical staff.