Alberta Politics
Edmonton’s skyline from the 106th Street Lookout (Photo: awmcphee, Creative Commons).

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So far, Alberta’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been a tale of two cities.

It may not have been quite the best of times, the worst of times, but Edmonton’s certainly done well and lgary’s not done so well at all. That state of affairs extends into the larger regions around Alberta’s two principal cities.

But how do we explain the huge gap between Edmonton’s 503 COVID-19 ses and 12 deaths, compared with lgary’s 3,905 ses and 70 deaths?

The proximate use, it’s pretty clear, is the disaster at the rgill Inc. meatpacking plant in the historic town of High River, 60 kilometres south of lgary. There, 936 workers at the plant had tested positive for the virus by yesterday, as the slaughterhouse was reopening. One of them, 67-year-old Bui Thi Hiep, has died.

As a result, however, there has been much wider spread of the disease in High River itself and in lgary, whence many of the workers commute. Indeed, the rgill plant is the epicentre of the largest COVID-19 outbreak in nada, possibly North Ameri.

The second largest nadian outbreak is at the JBS SA meatpacking plant in Brooks, in southeastern Alberta.

The two plants alone have more ses than the provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador combined,” the Globe and Mail reported on Sunday in a major story well worth reading but…

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