While Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s warnings about COVID-19 during his April 7 televised address were on-point, the same cannot be said for his attempt to explain the province’s COVID-19 modelling during an April 8 press conference.
Kenney took to the stage in the Legislature press room and delivered a 54-minute long PowerPoint presentation during which he meandered and was clearly unprepared and unfamiliar with the content of the presentation. At many points during the press conference he was simply reading the text on the slides.
It was one of the strangest press conferences I have ever seen and it was a stark contrast from his clear and concise messaging from the night before.
We should all be a little more forgiving of our political leaders as they respond to crises in the moment, but it was clear that the Premier was wading into unfamiliar territory the moment he clicked on the first slide.
It was perhaps a case of too much micro-managing on Kenney’s part.
Usually a pretty competent political communicator, Kenney’s performance has been all over the map during the COVID-19 pandemic. While it appears clear that he would like more media focus on the government’s economic and political agenda, the Premier should leave the scientific presentations to the public health and medical professionals, like Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Dr. Verna Yiu.