Listeners express displeasure over province’s use of emergency notification system

A text message sent to cellphones on Friday afternoon as an emergency-alert has drawn the ire of many listeners in the Peace and Mackenzie Regions.

The message was sent out by the Alberta Government’s emergency response system, which told people that new restrictions are in place for COVID-19 hot spots as well as a link for more information.

The emergency broadcast system is normally used to inform Albertans about serious events like a weather emergency, or an Amber Alert for a missing child.

Several people e-mailed our newsroom expressing frustration of the government’s use of the system.

Below are some of the comments from the e-mails sent to the Trending 55 Newsroom.

“The Covid “Emergency” alert was a blatant misuse of what it was designed for.”

“STOP the fear-mongering and controlling NOW!”

“Do you even give a thought to my 81 year old mom at home alone with getting that screaming at her??!!

“Imagine the people whose lives have been threatened by the true disasters that system has warned of? The residents of Fort Mac, Slave Lake, those whose lives and livelihoods have been threatened by grass fires?”

“That system is meant to be used for time sensitive, immediate emergencies where lives are in imminent danger and swift action is imperative. Not to send out propagandist messages from a government who just told us the exact same things YESTERDAY.”

“This afternoon while I was enjoying a visit with my grandma (April 30, 2021), sometime between 4 and 5 pm, an emergency alert appeared on my phone. My heart stopped. My first thought was “Oh, no, a child has been abducted!” My next thought was- it’s too early for tornados! Imagine my surprise when I opened my phone to read covid 19 propaganda.”

“This afternoon (April 30, 2021), sometime between 4 and 5 pm, an emergency alert appeared on my phone. My first thought was “Oh, no, some poor child is in extreme danger!”

“This emergency alert which was broadcast this evening was an atrocious and gross misuse of this broadcast system. Current government says vaccines will not be forced yet the coercion in this message suggests otherwise.”

– Kenny Trenton, Trending 55 Newsroom

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