OLDS/DIDSBURY — Area MLAs Nathan Cooper and Devin Dreeshen have joined fellow UCP MLAs in calling for an immediate end to the province’s Restriction Exemption Program (REP) COVID-19 proof of vaccination initiative.
In a Facebook statement posted on Feb. 3, Cooper, the MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, said he has consulted with his constituents who he says want the REP ended.
“I have listened carefully to the concerns of my constituents regarding COVID-19 restrictions,” said Cooper. “The people of Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills are in overwhelming agreement that vaccine mandates and the Restriction Exemption Program must end, and end now. I agree.
“We can now see that the REP is having limited continued effect, and I stand with my constituents in calling on the premier, the health minister, and the government caucus to lift the public health restrictions that are causing undue intrusion into our lives and unacceptable obstruction of our freedoms.”
Under the REP, residents are required to show an Alberta Health issued QR code to access businesses and other facilities taking part in the program. The program was put in place in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
In his Facebook post, Cooper did not say how many of his constituents he has spoken to about the matter or when those conversations took place.
Asked by the Albertan how many of his constituents he has consulted on the matter and when, he said, “I have spoken with hundreds over the last two weeks and beyond. I have received hundreds of emails on the issue as well.”
Cooper added that: “I have received half a dozen contacts of individuals asking to keep restrictions in place.”
On Feb. 3, Dreeshen, MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, also issued a statement on his Facebook page calling for the end of the REP.
“The vaccine mandate in Alberta must end,” said Dreeshen. “I believe this view is shared by a majority of MLAs, and I call on members of Alberta’s Executive Council to remove the Restrictions Exemption Program.”
On Feb. 3 MLA Jason Nixon, who is also Minister of Environment and Parks, issued a Facebook statement calling for the REP to be ended as well.