Several mayors in the Edmonton region are speaking out about how an open letter advocating for a vaccine passport system was rolled out.
The letter was signed by 12 mayors and sent to the provincial government on Sept. 7, calling on Health Minister Tyler Shandro to introduce additional public health measures.
But since then, one mayor who didn't sign on has expressed frustration about how the initiative was organized. Three others said they didn't agree to the final version of the letter that was sent.
Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Gale Katchur was the only Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board (EMRB) member to not sign it. She said she chose not to because she didn't get a chance to review it with city council, and that she saw no reason why the letter couldn't have waited for that to happen first.
"I was very disappointed on how it went forward," Katchur said. "It wasn't sanctioned under the EMRB, it wasn't sanctioned under anybody. This was basically mayors … that made the decision to go out and do this on their own."
While Katchur didn't sign, Leduc County Mayor Tanni Doblanko's signature does appear on the letter. However, she said she only agreed to an earlier version, which only requested more COVID-19 data and not for the implementation of a vaccine passport system.
"I take very seriously a misrepresentation of anything that has to do with our municipality," she told Taproot. "I believe we were truly, grossly misrepresented in that letter and we needed to make sure that people understand that there was a mix-up."
Devon Mayor Ray Ralph and Beaumont Mayor John Stewart gave similar statements to Postmedia, saying they only agreed to sign an earlier version of the letter asking for more data.