A national COVID-19 contact tracing app is on its way, but Alberta’s premier accused the federal government Monday of interfering with the province’s own similar app that was much earlier to market.
During a news conference, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government of instructing tech companies, including Google and Apple, not to help the provinces with their own contact tracing apps while the federal one is in development.
“The government of Canada has told Google and Apple not to work with the government of Alberta or other provincial governments on approving the TraceTogether app,” Kenney said.
WATCH: Alberta implements tax cuts, infrastructure spending to rebound from COVID-19. Story continues below.
In June, the federal government announced a national contact tracing app to help trace and identify possible COVID-19 cases. The voluntary app is set to be piloted in Ontario before a nation-wide launch later this summer, but has been delayed from its initially planned July 2 pilot launch.
Alberta was the first jurisdiction in Canada to release an app back in early May. According to Alberta Health, more than 223,000 users — about five per cent of the province’s population — have registered on the ABTraceTogether app since its launch.
The Alberta app, modelled off of a similar program in Singapore, uses Bluetooth technology to conduct “virtual handshakes” between users and enable rapid contact tracing if a user contracts COVID-19.
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However, it has faced multiple challenges since it launched. On Thursday, Alberta Health...