Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is adding his voice to the chorus of criticism against China for how it handled the earliest days of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Kenney, who was taking part in a virtual roundtable hosted by the Canadian American Business Council, says there will need to be what he calls a “great reckoning” for the role China played in fuelling the global pandemic.
He accuses the governing Communist Party of lobbying the World Health Organization to turn a blind eye to evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus and to resist early travel restrictions in Chinese hotspots.
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The premier also says the more the rest of the world seeks answers, the more belligerent and unco-operative the country has become.
Kenney says that should be a cue for Canada and the U.S. to “reset” their relationship with China and to make a concerted effort to bring manufacturing capacity back to North America — particularly for important medical gear like face masks and ventilators.
In particular, he says, Alberta’s petrochemical industry could play a key role in helping to produce reagents, a necessary component of testing.
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