Mark your calendars. In 36 days or less, Alberta is set to go full Texas. Kenney wants to be the first province to remove every last public health restriction for the general public. Consider it an apology, of sorts.
No more masks, no more rules, by July 1st at the latest. Kenney ties the full reopening to a 70% vaccination rate – which has understandably rubbed some the wrong way.
Kenney wants to get out of the tyranny game altogether, leaving Trudeau to play with himself.
There is more good news: within the week churches and patios will reopen as the government removes its most recent layer of restrictions on Sunday and Monday respectively. Over the course of the next month the restrictions will be removed layer by layer.
This means that by July, indoor and outdoor social gatherings will return to normal. Funerals, weddings, schools, gyms, retail, and conference centres will all return to pre-pandemic operation.
The reopening plan is being touted by Kenney as the most ambitious reopening plan in the country – allowing Albertans to get back to normal months ahead of the other provinces, especially Ontario and Quebec.
According to the government, some safety measures may remain in long term care homes for the foreseeable future – but for the broad public it is expected to be the “best Alberta summer ever.”
Dust your boots off, and get ready for the Stampede.
Many will say that it is too little too late. After Alberta police mercilessly arrested three separate Christian pastors, hundreds of businesses closed down, and millions of families missed out on precious time with each other, Albertans are weary.
For some, it is certainly too late. According to Annie Dormuth of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, “Alberta is still leading the nation or has the highest number of small businesses closing at 22 per cent. We are seeing an increase in province such an Ontario and Quebec, which are around 20 per cent, which did increase in June and July, obviously those provinces have much stronger restrictions and lockdown measures on small businesses compared to Alberta.”
The hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard in Alberta, with lockdowns throwing the industry into disarray as they come and go. Many closed their doors permanently.
Those businesses will not magically return. They may be replaced, slowly, but the families that ran them may never recover.
The Albertans who died by suicide and overdose as a result of these lockdown measures will also never return.
This last year has been nothing short of a tragedy.
While there is plenty of blame to share between China, Kenney, Trudeau, the WHO, Dr. Hinshaw, Dr. Tam – for once Albertans have a sliver of hope that this might all be behind us in 36 long days.