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Albertans get emergency alert about COVID lockdown

Premier Jason Kenney announced the hot spots crackdown in a press conference, where he said the alert would be issued as a way to reach more Albertans about the lockdowns.

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Albertans’ cell phones chimed in chorus Friday afternoon as an emergency message went out warning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“New COVID-19 restrictions are in effect for the following hot spot regions: Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Calgary, Airdrie, Strathcona County, Lethbridge, Edmonton and St Albert. Please follow the rules, get vaccinated and go outdoors to safely socialize while distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19. To learn more, visit www.alberta.ca/covidab or call 310-0000,” read the warning issued by the province.

Premier Jason Kenney announced the hot spots crackdown in a Thursday press conference, where he said the alert would be issued as a way to reach more Albertans about the lockdowns.

Kenney said the new restrictions include possible curfews and increased enforcement of people at outdoor patios to make sure they are from the same family unit.

Kenney said current lockdown measures haven’t been strong enough to bend the curve as a third COVID-19 wave – this time with variants – rolls through the province now affecting a record 21,000 people.

For the second day in a row the province announce a new daily case number above 2,000.

In the last 24 hours, 2,007 new cases of the virus have been found bringing the provincial total to 190,734. Seven more people have lost their lives, bring the death toll to 2,082. Hospitalization are also at worrying levels with 649 currently in hospital, 152 in ICU – Thursday those figures sat at 632 in hospital, 151 in ICU.

The province will now be divided into hotspots – areas with 350 cases per 100,000 people.

Municipalities with those figures or higher can request to bring in a curfew if they wish. The government will implement a curfew where case rates are significantly high, specifically case rates above 1,000 per 100,000, and if a municipality or region requests it. Details will be announced prior to any curfew being implemented.

Junior and senior high schools in the hotspot areas will move to home learning. K-6 students will continue in-classroom learning unless otherwise approved by Alberta Education to shift to online-learning.

All gyms and indoor fitness activities are now cancelled. Outdoor fitness activities may continue under provincewide restrictions currently in place, including individual or household one-on-one training with a trainer.

All youth and adult indoor group physical activities, including team sports and one-on-one training sessions, are prohibited.

And Kenney said authorities will launch a crackdown on outdoor dining areas. Six people from the same household are allowed to dine together on patios. Kenney said AHS inspectors and police will be clamping down on people to make sure they are from from the same family.

And Kenney said those who are fined during the pandemic will not be able to access registry services until the fine is paid.

“Albertans have to step up to the plate in the next two weeks,” said Kenney.

For the first time Kenney, urged people to “stay home.”

He call variants “our new opponent” and added the new restrictions “underscore the gravity of the situation.”

Kenney noted only 5% of cases have been found to come from the workplace, with the rest being caught in social situations.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
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

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. R3

    May 2, 2021 at 10:39 am

    Just another psychological programming tactic for the masses to believe in the captivity narrative.

  2. Barbara

    April 30, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    The rest of the MLAs have to speak up. Time for a phone campaign. Mr. Kenny has lost it.

  3. Kc

    April 30, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    This is an abuse of the emergency alert system

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News

Lawyer blasts Alberta sports facilities for vaccine passport policies

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

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Lawyer Derek From has sent a stern warning to sport facility operators Monday saying they are breaching the law by requiring parents and kids 12 and over to show their vaccine status.

A constitutional lawyer for 10 years with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, From is now in private practice at an Airdrie law firm.

From was retained by a group of parents who have kids enrolled in youth sports programs in Calgary and the surrounding area.

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

REP allows businesses to either choose to operate as usual if they implement a vaccine passport program or limit their attendance to one-third of their fire code capacity and abide by a number of other public health restrictions.

“Youth sports are supposed to be out of scope for these mandates according to the latest public health order,” From said in an interview with the Western Standard.

Last Thursday, public health order #43-2021 was rescinded due to “bad faith behaviour on the part of businesses offering youth activities and rogue municipal governments seeking to increase and stiffen the restrictions enacted by the Government of Alberta,” From states in the letter.

In its place, order #45-2021 was enacted making it clear that youth activities are out of the scope of REP.  

“This means that facilities that house youth sports are not allowed to use (vaccine) passports. They have to opt out of the passport program,” From said.

However, Calgary city council passed a bylaw that came into effect September 23 forcing businesses eligible for the REP to participate without choice including recreation facilities.

Calgary bylaw 65M2021 says “any person aged 12 years and older must show identification and either proof of vaccination, proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or a medical exemption from vaccine letter.”

“With (Mayor Naheed) Nenshi running interference on this issue, a lot of people were turned away from a number of facilities over the weekend,” From said.

“Essentially, they (city council) have left no one any choice in the municipality of Calgary including hockey rinks, even though it falls out of scope according to the province. Now a bunch of other surrounding communities are falling in line.”  

The legal letter demands these facilities stop enforcing any REP-related restrictions associated with youth physical, performance or recreational activities, and begin to follow the clear direction set out by the Alberta government regarding what falls in and out of scope for the REP.

“Youth physical activity, performance activity and recreational activity, where all participants are under the age of 18” is listed as outside of the purview of REP. This means that REP is not available for implementation in association with such activities,” the letter states.

“Thousands of parents are ready to have this fight for their kids across the province,” From said.

“If the letters aren’t enough to change the course for these facilities, we will start suing rinks and even the city (Calgary).”

From said he was sending the letter to Nenshi and Calgary council Monday.

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

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WATCH: Pawlowski arrested at Calgary airport

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

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Controversial Calgary Pastor Artur Pawlowski is back behind bars again.

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

He had been out of the country for four months.

Details on why he was taken into custody haven’t been revealed.

Pawlowski has been repeatedly ticketed and jailed for breaking provincial COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

He has recently been on a speaking tour in the US.

more to come…

source: streetchurch facebook

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

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Norway goes back to life as usual before COVID

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-related domestic restrictions.

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Norway lifted all remaining COVID-19 restrictions this weekend in an effort to return to normal.

“Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life,” said Erna Solberg, Norways’s prime minister at a press conference.

Neither vaccination status nor a negative test result was required for citizens to enter nightclubs and restaurants which saw throngs of people heading to their favourite hangouts en masse.

Saturday marked the first time capacity limits were lifted in bars and restaurants in more than 500 days. Revellers young and old took to the streets with rowdy celebrations.

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a small but growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-19-related domestic restrictions. Sports venues, bars, restaurants and other businesses will be permitted to return to full capacity and will no longer require social distancing or masking.

According to the Institute of Public Health, Norwegian vaccination rates sit around 76% for one dose and 67% are considered fully vaccinated.

Solberg still encouraged citizens to get vaccinated and said those who contract COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate to avoid transmission.

“Even though everyday life is now back to normal for most people, the pandemic is not over,” Solberg said.

Although some restrictions will remain in place for those arriving in Norway from countries with higher rates of infection, travel restrictions will also be lifted, the government said.

“In short, we can now live as normal,” Solberg said.

Denmark was the first country in the European Union (EU) to lift all corona virus restrictions on September 10.

“The vaccines and the great efforts of all of Denmark’s citizens over such a long period are the foundation for why we are going strong,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter just before the country opened up.

After seeing nearly three-quarters of adults fully vaccinated and experiencing low rates of infection and death in August, the Danish Health Authority declared the virus is “no longer a critical threat to society.”

Britain lifted much of its COVID-19-related restrictions over the summer.

As of September 23, more than 48 million people in the UK have received their fist does – 89% of those over 16 years old. A total 82% of the population or 44 million people 16 and older have been double jabbed.

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

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