fbpx
Connect with us

News

UPDATED: Kenney easing COVID lockdown rules

Kenney will announce restaurants can reopen with in-person dining and gyms can reopen with limited capacity

mm

Published

on

The end is in sight.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has announced an easing of lockdown regulations that the province has been in for six weeks.

Kenney said restaurants can reopen next February 8, with in-person dining and gyms can reopen with limited capacity the same day.

Restaurants and pubs will be limited to tables of a maximum of six. Everyone at the table must be from the same household. Liquor service must end at 10 p.m. and dining must close by 11 p.m. Live music and VLTs remain banned.

Strong social distancing requirements must be in place, he said.

The week delay is in place to make sure restaurants can get food in and prepared physically again to deal with customers.

Alberta’s seven-day average for new daily COVID-19 cases currently sits at 480, down from 1,794 at the beginning of December.

“Everyone has made incredibly tough decisions and made real sacrifices and for that I thank you,” said Kenney.

“We’re not yet at a point we can fully ease restrictions. In trying to strike the balance it’s important to show Albertans there is a path forward.”

“If there is a surge again…we will have to impose sanctions again,” he said.

Kenney said any further easing of sanctions will be based mainly on the number of hospitalizations. The Step 1 listed below will go into effect February 8.

A move into the next step will only be considered after three weeks have passed.

Step 1:  Hospitalization benchmark – 600

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance (school-related only)
    • Indoor personal fitness, one-on-one and by appointment only
    • Restaurants, cafes, and pubs

Step 2:  Hospitalization benchmark – 450

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Retail
    • Community halls, hotels, banquet halls and conference centres
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Step 1

Step 3: Hospitalization benchmark – 300

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Places of worship
    • Adult team sports
    • Museums, art galleries, zoos and interpretive centres
    • Indoor seated events, including movie theatres and auditoriums
    • Casinos, racing centres and bingo halls
    • Libraries
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Steps 1 and 2

Step 4: Hospitalization benchmark – 150

  • Potential easing of some restrictions related to:
    • Indoor entertainment centres and play centres
    • Tradeshows, conferences and exhibiting events
    • Performance activities (e.g., singing, dancing, wind instruments)
    • Outdoor sporting events (e.g., rodeo)
    • Wedding ceremonies and receptions
    • Funeral receptions
    • Workplaces – lifting work-from-home measures
    • Amusement parks
    • Indoor concerts and sporting events
    • Festivals, including arts and cultural festivals (indoor and outdoor)
    • Day camps and overnight camps
    • Further easing of some restrictions eased in Steps 1-3

During the press conference, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in the last 24 hours Alberta recorded 543 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 more deaths. The positivity level is at 4.5 per cent.

She said another 12 cases of virus variants have been found, bringing that number to 37 in total.

In mid-December, Kenney put the province in a massive lockdown. Business and restaurants were ordered closed with all outdoor and indoor gatherings banned.

The move effectively cancelled Christmas for many Albertans.

Kenney said the measures were put in place to stop the hospital system from being overwhelmed.

Personal services, like hair salons were allowed to open January 18, by appointment only.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Continue Reading
7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Allen

    January 30, 2021 at 9:55 am

    And now, watch as the un-defeatable virus re-emerges in a month, with bigger numbers then ever before, to teach us never to eat at a restaurant or support local again.

  2. Allen

    January 30, 2021 at 9:53 am

    “Potential easing of some restrictions”is like saying “There’s a possibility of a possibility that we might loosen restriction”

  3. Warren Leigh

    January 29, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    So, do gyms and fitness centres ever get to open to at least where they were before with reduced capacity and by appointment only, but not just for one on one training sessions? Do they still not understand that exercise is ESSENTIAL in the fight against a virus that has the highest death rate among those with hypertension, diabetes and heart disease? Seriously, I went to the gym all last summer and fall masked up and could only workout for an hour but it sure beat my crappy home workouts and NOBODY GOT SICK!!! PLEASE QUIT CUTTING OUR LEGS OUT FROM UNDER US!

  4. Mars Hill

    January 29, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Oh thank you, thank you Mr Premier, we are so grateful for this, you are our hero……

  5. warrenzoell

    January 29, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Uh huh.

  6. Allen

    January 29, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    See what happens when we make a stand? They are listening. They are scared of how many of us there are. However, rescinding one or two policies does not matter. They must rescind them ALL.

  7. Greg Misquitta

    January 29, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    ROFL. . .
    So – Liqupr can ONLY be Served till 10PM and Last Order for Food – 11PM. . .

    So – the “VIRUS” will ONLY “WAKE UP – AFTER 11PM. . .according to Kenney. . .
    And People THOUGHT – Doug Ford was Dumb. . .

    IF this DOES NOT prove – WHAT is Actually Going On. . .
    NOTHING WILL. . .

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

News

WATCH: UCP MLA calls AHS ‘bloated’ and ‘underperforming’

“Even at a 90% inoculation rate in those 12 and older, we struggle with capacity,” said Guthrie criticizing AHS for the lack of available hospital beds throughout the pandemic and the many cancelled surgeries as a result.

mm

Published

on

Alberta Health Services is “failing” and needs “transformation,” says UCP MLA for Airdrie-Cochrane Peter Guthrie in a Facebook post.

Guthrie posted the video on Tuesday and said after speaking with many of his constituents, he had been “wrestling” with his thoughts on the state of Alberta’s healthcare system.

Guthrie highlighted the two-year period of the pandemic going from “zero data and no vaccine” to having data from around the world and a vaccine, “yet we seem to be in a circular loop.”

“Even at a 90% inoculation rate in those 12 and older, we struggle with capacity,” said Guthrie, criticizing AHS for the lack of available hospital beds throughout the pandemic and the many cancelled surgeries as a result.

“And AHS seems to recite the same recycled ideas including masking, passports and other various restrictions.”

In September, Guthrie said he and other MLAs questioned AHS and the Alberta government on the use of vaccine passports saying they were “divisive and possibly ineffective in stopping transmission,” and were showing waning efficacy.

“I don’t feel our health leaders adjusted to this evidence,” said Guthrie.

Guthrie also criticized AHS for not investing in researching treatments for COVID-19 symptoms and for working to “deter” the use of early treatments.

“AHS and the College of Physicians (and Surgeons of Alberta – CPSA) have penalized, suspended and even revoked licenses’ of those Alberta doctors trying to find a treatment, including anti-viral medications, that may help a patient avoid symptoms.”

Guthrie took aim at the “billions of added dollars” the government has put into healthcare for AHS to hire more doctors yet said wait times have not improved across the province. He also referenced a report by the Fraser Institute that pegged Canada as second behind Switzerland for the most expensive universal healthcare system in the world, but added Canada also sits among the bottom on performance.

“This reinforces the need for reform,” said Guthrie, adding he doesn’t blame frontline workers and suggests we should be looking to those healthcare workers for suggestions on how to improve what he calls a “failing” healthcare system.

Guthrie said pre-COVID19 — and immediately after he was elected — he and other MLAs felt upper management changes in AHS were necessary.

“We felt that AHS was a bloated, underperforming entity that requires transformation,” said Guthrie.

“With the uninspiring performance of AHS over the last two years, right or wrong, that sentiment still holds with me.”

Guthrie said he believes “high-calibre candidates” should be sought outside of AHS and said the healthcare system in Alberta should not be left to continue struggling and suggested other strategies should be explored by professional consultants from outside AHS.

“We must endeavour to generate confidence, not fear,” said Guthrie encouraging people to share their ideas and thoughts on how to improve Alberta’s healthcare system.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

Continue Reading

News

Omicron grounds every 1 in 5 WestJet flights in February

Customers affected by the new cutbacks will hear from WestJet within the next few days.

mm

Published

on

A total of 20% of WestJet flights will be cancelled in February — Omicron and past layoffs are to blame.

“As we continue to navigate the unpredictability of the Omicron variant on our staffing levels, along with the ongoing barriers to international travel, we are making every effort to proactively manage our schedule in order to minimize disruption to our guests’ travel plans,” said President & CEO Harry Taylor in a press release. 

“To our guests impacted by these additional consolidations, we sincerely apologize for the disruption and appreciate your continued understanding and patience.”

Customers affected by the new cutbacks will hear from WestJet within the next few days.

The aviation industry is the only transportation sector in Canada requiring full vaccination status to use and is the highest COVID-19 tested consumer activity in the country.

“Canada remains one of the only countries in the world requiring multiple molecular tests for fully-vaccinated travellers — these testing resources should be redeployed to our communities,” said Taylor, commenting on the demand to stop arrival testing.

The measures are in addition to the 15% reduction in flights implemented in January because of staff shortages.

These events follow the December deadline for WestJet employees to be vaccinated, where hundreds of employees were fired because of their vaccination status.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter for the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

Continue Reading

News

Misery index places Canada in bottom ranks

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well.”

mm

Published

on

Canada’s combination of high rates of inflation and unemployment have secured it the sixth most “miserable” advanced economy in the world.

Tuesday morning, the Fraser Institute released a study that ranked the International Monetary Fund’s top 35 economic countries.

With an inflation rate of 3.15% and unemployment rate of 7.72%, Canada’s 2021 Misery Index score is 10.88.

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well,” said Jason Clements, executive vice president of the Fraser Institute.

Fraser Institute

American economist Arthur Okun created the Misery Index to understand the level of economic strain felt on an everyday basis for regular citizens of a country.

Inflation and unemployment act as measures that drastically affect the costs of living that impacts economic well-being on an individual level.

Only five countries received worse scores than Canada, Spain in the last spot with a score of 17.61, followed by Greece (15.73), Italy (11.96) and Iceland (11.26)

Countries above Canada’s score include France (10.10), the United States (9.72), Australia (7.33), and the United Kingdom (7.17).

Japan (2.61) and Switzerland (3.57) received the top scores being the least miserable.

The Misery Index was prominent in policy discussions during the 1970s and 1980s, but fell out of the spotlight during the 1990s while inflation and unemployment was low.

“The fact we are again discussing the Misery Index and Canada’s high ranking on it is bad news for all Canadians, who will suffer as a result,” Clemens said.

“Governments across Canada, particularly the federal government, should prioritize those policies that will make Canadians less miserable by lowering inflation and unemployment.”

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Share

Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

1,097 signatures

No Media Bailouts

The fourth estate is critical to a functioning democracy in holding the government to account. An objective media can't maintain editorial integrity when it accepts money from a government we expect it to be critical of.

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

**your signature**



The Western Standard will never accept government bailout money. By becoming a Western Standard member, you are supporting government bailout-free and proudly western media that is on your side. With your support, we can give Westerners a voice that doesn\'t need taxpayers money.

Share this with your friends:

Trending

Copyright © Western Standard New Media Corp.