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Kenney puts Alberta into third COVID lockdown

Kenney announced that as of Friday at midnight the province will be returned to Phase 1 of the lockdown processes – meaning an end to things like in-person dining.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is throwing the province back into a lockdown “for one last time.”

Kenney announced that as of Friday at midnight the province will be returned to Phase 1 of the lockdown processes – meaning an end to things like in-person dining.

The premier said more financial aid will be coming to affected businesses.

At 12:59 p.m., the restrictions will once again be in place for retail, fitness and performance activities. 

Effective at noon Friday,  restaurants will be restricted to providing only takeout, delivery and patio service.

Alberta will remain in Step 1 with restaurant restrictions until further notice. 

“We are taking strong action to stop the third wave from threatening our health system and the health of thousands of Albertans. The rapid rise in cases, especially variants of concern, makes this a critical time to stop the spread,” said Kenney.

“These measures will buy us some time for additional COVID-19 vaccines to arrive and take effect so we can once again start safely easing restrictions as quickly as possible.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw also announced Tuesday they had found 931 new cases of coronavirus, 676 of them being a variant. The positivity rating was a whopping 10.2 per cent. Three more death were also reported.

Kenney noted a recent Brazil variant started with one person, then hit five and eventually 35 people. One of the victims died with two more in ICU.

He said the province is on the path to having 2,000 daily cases by the end of the month, with more than 1,000 people in hospital.

“To be blunt, (the next wave) is here,” said a grim Kenney.

“We can do this together.”

Kenney predicted there will be continued outrage from people opposed to the lockdowns “even within my own caucus.”

It did take those frustrations long.

“More and more experts are acknowledging that non-pharmaceutical interventions and regulatory impositions are harmful, especially for 13 months,” said Cypress Hill-Medicine Hat UCP MLA Drew Barnes.

“We need a more open, and regional approach that protects our vulnerable and our economy, mental and physical health and civil liberties,” he told the Western Standard.

“In just 15 minutes post-announcement, I have heard from many Albertans involved in the hospitality, gyms and retail industries that say today’s announcement will be consequential.”

Barnes was a group of six rebel UCP MLAs who broke party ranks to demand the lockdown end.

““Alberta, like Texas, Florida or South Dakota could be the beacon of opportunity, freedom, choice and the protection of civil liberties,” said Barnes.

NDP leader Rachel Notley has pushed Kenney to bring back the lockdown.

The following are the new regulations:

Step 1 restrictions

Retail 

  • Retail services must reduce customer capacity to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy, with a minimum of five customers permitted.
    • Curbside pickup, delivery and online services are encouraged.
  • Shopping malls will be limited to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy. 

Indoor fitness

  • Only one-on-one training with an individual or household is permitted for indoor fitness activities (e.g., fitness in dance studios, training figure skating on ice, one-on-one lessons). 
  • No drop-in activities or unsupervised individual fitness.
  • Group fitness, high or low intensity, is not allowed.
  • Outdoor physical activity is allowed with up to 10 people, provided physical distancing is maintained between households.

Adult performance activities

  • Adult performance activities are not permitted. Performance activities include dancing, singing, acting, playing a musical instrument and any rehearsal or theatrical performances.

The following mandatory public health measures come into effect at noon on Friday, April 9:

Restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafés 

  • Indoor in-person service is no longer permitted
    • Takeout, curbside pickup and delivery services are permitted.
    • Outdoor patio dining is also allowed. Tables and dining parties must be two metres apart or separated by an impermeable barrier that will prevent droplet transmission.
    • Household members only, or two close contacts of someone who lives alone.
    • Contact information must be collected from one person of the dining party.

The following mandatory public health measures remain in effect unchanged:

Places of worship

  • All places of worship will continue to be limited to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy for in-person attendance.
    • Virtual or online services are strongly encouraged.
    • Drive-in services where individuals do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance will be permissible and are not subject to capacity restrictions.

Social gatherings

  • Indoor social gatherings continue to be prohibited.
  • Outdoor social gatherings are limited to 10 participants, provided physical distancing and other measures continue to be followed.

Personal and wellness services

  • Personal and wellness services can be open for appointment only. This includes hair salons, nail salons, massage, tattoos and piercing.
  • Health services, including physiotherapy or acupuncture, social or protective services, shelters for vulnerable persons, emergency services, child care, and not-for-profit community kitchens or charitable kitchens can remain open for in-person attendance.

Indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance

  • K-12 schools and post-secondary children’s sport and performance activities, such as physical education classes, can now use off-site facilities to support curriculum-related educational activities.
  • Lessons, practices and conditioning activities, but not games, may occur for indoor team-based minor sports/activities and school athletics.
    • All participants must be 18 years old or younger, excluding coaches or trainers.
    • Maximum of 10 individuals, including all coaches, trainers and participants.
    • Participants must stay physically distanced from each other at all times.

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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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Russell Gerrish

    April 7, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    This is so f’ing insane. I have one word for Mr. Kenney – Ivermectin. This anti-parasite drug, which is in safe use around the world, has an efficacy of over 90% to prevent Covid-19 and its variants. It is also effective to treat Covid if it has infected. Also important is Vitamin D3, magnesium, and zinc to build up one’s immune system.

    And what about Lt. Col. David Redman’s pandemic plan that Alberta paid for, Mr. Kenney? You threw it out the window. That document made perfect sense. Instead, you listen to a medical person with no experience in handling crises.

    Sorry, Mr. Kenney, you have lost my vote.

  2. Left Coast

    April 7, 2021 at 9:34 am

    This is completely Insane . . . . anyone with 3 brain cells can look around the Continent and see which states are doing the best and the worst.
    Lowest numbers today are in states that are wide open . . . highest infection numbers are in states that are still in some form of Lockdown.
    Of course most of these lockdown states are run by Leftists . . . is Kenny just another leftist moron who fails to learn from over a year of experience on the matter?

  3. Proudly_Free

    April 6, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    The PSYCHOLOGICAL TERRORISM campaign continues. Albertans are the hostages and our healthcare system, paid for by our tax dollars, has been weaponized against us. I had thought, like any sane person, that when I paid my taxes, the systems that those taxes funded would be there for me when I needed them. Since I’ve been proven disastrously wrong on this for the last year now, maybe I just won’t pay taxes anymore because…WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT?! IF WE HAVE 8100 HOSPITAL BEDS and only 300 are full, WHY THE HELL SHOULD I PAY FOR A SYSTEM I’M OBVIOUSLY NOT ALLOWED TO USE?

    I shouldn’t also forget to mention that other weapon they are continuing to wield against us, namely, that utterly fake, fraudulent “testing method” called PCR testing which has as much as a 90 percent FALSE POSITIVE RATE. Let’s SUE THEM ALL for medical fraud and then arrest them and their PRAVDA media allies for the most successful, most thorough and longest terrorism campaign in history. EVERY. LAST. ONE.

  4. John Lankers

    April 6, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    Is Kenney running the province or is Kenney run by left wing bureaucrats trying their hardest to destroy the lifelyhood of millions?

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News

UCP MLAs: ‘Let unvaxxed post-secondary students get back to class’

“With no evidence to show that it has made their campuses any safer, colleges and universities are denying unvaccinated Albertans the opportunity to receive a higher education,” said the letter.

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A letter questioning Alberta post-secondary institutions on policy banning unvaccinated students’ from campuses while unvaxxed healthcare workers are now permitted to rapid test has been sent to campuses across Alberta by two UCP MLAs.

MLA for Cardston-Siksika and Deputy Government House Leader Joseph Schow and Peace River MLA Dan Williams signed the letter dated Thursday addressed to eight post-secondary presidents including the universities of Lethbridge, Alberta, Calgary, Mount Royal, MacEwan, SAIT and NAIT and Bow Valley College.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, along with the Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides and the Minister of Health Jason Copping were each cc’d in the letter.

The letter outlines the change to COVID-19 measures adopted by many Alberta post-secondary institutions in September requiring all students and staff to be fully vaccinated to attend in-person and online learning.

Letter from UCP MLAs to Alberta post-secondary institutions – pg 1

“Although these post-secondary institutions have based their protocols on direction from the Government of Alberta, they have chosen to exclude the option of providing a negative PCR or rapid test,” said the letter.

“There is little to no evidence showing that universities and colleges benefit from limiting in-person learning to those who are vaccinated.”

The letter claims institutions have failed to demonstrate how students on campuses banning the unvaccinated are any safer from COVID-19 than students on campuses allowing for rapid testing instead of proof of vaccination.

“With no evidence to show that it has made their campuses any safer, colleges and universities are denying unvaccinated Albertans the opportunity to receive a higher education,” said the letter.

“Many students opportunities vanish for making a personal health choice.”

Letter from UCP MLAs to Alberta post-secondary institutions – pg 2

The letter references Albert Health Services’ recent update to its mandatory vaccination policy in December allowing unvaccinated healthcare workers the option to rapid test and return to work.

“With that in mind, we have a simple question,” said the letter.

“What makes so many university campuses in Alberta more risk-averse than a hospital or other healthcare facility?

“If Alberta healthcare workers, who are likely exposed to COVID-19 daily are permitted to rapid test, why are post-secondary students being denied the same opportunity? These students are being held to a higher standard, a standard that will unfairly deprive many young Albertans of their future.”

The letter describes Alberta’s position to “lead the country in economic growth” moving forward and suggests a “highly skilled and educated workforce” will be needed.

Both Schow and Williams request all Alberta post-secondary institutions remove their “backward-thinking COVID-19 vaccine mandates” and “allow all students the option to rapid test so they can return to school, complete their education and help build a strong Alberta.”

The Western Standard did not hear back from either MLA for comment before publishing.

Although the Alberta government has not made vaccinations mandatory for any post-secondary institutions, many have adopted the policy on their own resulting in thousands of unvaccinated students not being permitted to access in-person or remote learning.

The University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge earlier this month extended online learning until after the February reading break.

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

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News

Trucker freedom convoy GoFundMe raises over $1M

“It’s our duty as Canadians to put an end to this mandates. It is imperative that this happens because if we don’t our country will no longer be the country we have come to love.”

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Canadians are responding enmasse to help the country’s truckers.

A GoFundMe to help the truckers surpassed the $1 million mark on Friday afternoon, after only being established six days ago.

Money donated is to be dispersed among truckers to aid with journey costs.

Truckers and supporters alike have gathered in a cross-country convoy drive in protest of mandatory vaccinations for their industry.

Donations go towards the cost of fuel, then food and lodgings along the journey.

Our current government is implementing rules and mandates that are destroying the foundation of our businesses, industries and livelihoods,” the donation page says.

“It’s our duty as Canadians to put an end to this mandates. It is imperative that this happens because if we don’t our country will no longer be the country we have come to love. We are doing this for our future Generations and to regain our lives back.”

Truckers Freedom Convoy 2022 has 3 main routes departing from Vancouver, BC, Sarnia, ON, and Enfield, NS, all meeting in Ottawa on January 29, 2022.

Smaller chains will drive to meet with the main convoy from more rural locations across Canada.

You can find all the routes of the convoy here.

“We are a peaceful country that has helped protect nations across the globe from Tyrannical governments who oppressed their people, well now its happening to us. We are taking our fight to the doorsteps of our Federal Government and demanding that they cease all mandates against its people. Small businesses are being destroyed, homes are being destroyed, and people are being mistreated and denied fundamental necessities to survive,” the group says.

The GoFundMe page has a goal of $1,100,000.

“But it’s a small price to pay for our freedoms. We thank you all for your Donations and know that you are helping reshape this once beautiful country back to the way it was,” says the page.

Truckers were previously deemed “essential,” however the federal government green-lit the loss of 12,000-16,000 (10-15%) of cross-border commercial drivers by making vaccinations mandatory, as anticipated by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).

“This number may not sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but in cross-border areas such as Vancouver or Windsor, there’s a lot of drivers who will cross the border five or six times a day. That’s a lot of loads in a year that no longer have a way of coming up,” Colin Valentim told the Western Standard.

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

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Energy

IEA recognizes Canadian oil industry as the environmental world leader

In 2018, oil and gas companies also invested $3.6 billion in environmental protection initiatives, recognized by the IEA as by far the largest environmental protection spend of any industry in the country.  

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Canada is doing great but should take measures to continue its reputation as a preferred oil and gas supplier on the global market, says the International Energy Agency.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol is a big advocate for net zero targets, but still recognizes the reliance on oil and gas that will persist into the future.

He said he prefers oil supply to come from “good partners” like Canada, he told a press conference.

“Canada has been a cornerstone of global energy markets, a reliable partner for years,” said Birol.

“We will still need oil and gas for years to come… I prefer oil is produced by countries … like Canada (that) want to reduce the emissions of oil and gas.” 

The same IEA report included recommendations for Canada to incentivise moves away from oil production, yet the director still recognizes Canada’s contribution to the global market.

World oil consumption returned to pre-pandemic levels and natural gas demand surpassed levels pre-COVID-19 last year, according to IEA data.

Yet Canada only supplies 6% of the current world market.

Consumption of both oil and gas is expected to continue rising even as more renewable energy sources come online. 

A Russian-caused natural gas crisis in Europe has many looking to Canada as a great alternative.

“The world needs reliable partners,” said Birol, of the European situation.  

Canada is the fourth-largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world and home to the third-largest oil reserves.

“This creates employment for Canadians and secure and reliable oil and gas for both domestic and global markets,” the IEA said.  

The IEA recommends that remaining competitive in global oil and gas markets requires further emission reductions, to ensure the sector remains a major driver of the Canadian economy beyond 2050.

Emission reduction has already been steadily implemented in Canada, analysts praised the oil and gas industry’s “strong track record” of reducing emissions intensity.

The oilsands by have decreased emissions by 32% since 1990 and further reductions of up to 27% are expected by 2030. 

Canadian oil and gas companies spend an average of $1 billion per year on clean energy technology, in addition to billions in environmental protection.  

In 2018, oil and gas companies also invested $3.6 billion in environmental protection initiatives, recognized by the IEA as the largest environmental protection spend of any industry in the country.  

“Canadian oil and natural gas producers are leveraging their improving environmental, social and governance performance and Canada’s stringent environmental regulations to build a global competitive advantage.”

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

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