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UPDATED: Kenney announces staggered removal of lockdown restrictions

On June 1, Albertans will be allowed to hoist a pint at a restaurant patio, but only with three other people.

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced Alberta is planning to drop COVID-19 lockdown restrictions – very slowly.

Kenney said Wednesday Stage 1 of Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan starts Friday with churches being allowed to open to 15% of fire code capacity.

“Today, we are truly near the end of this thing,” said Kenney.

Starting June 1:

  • Outdoor social gatherings, with distancing, increase to up to 10 people.
    • Indoor social gatherings are still not permitted.
  • Outdoor patio dining can resume with a maximum of four people per table.
    • Everyone at the table must be members of the same household or for a person living alone, dining parties are limited to two close contacts.
    • Physical distancing and other restrictions still apply.
  • Outdoor physical, performance and recreational activities are permitted with up to 10 distanced people, for all ages.
  • Retail can increase to 15% of fire code occupancy (must maintain ability to distance).
  • Personal and wellness services can reopen, by appointment only.
  • Wedding ceremonies may have up to 10 people, including the officiant, bride/groom, witnesses and any photographers/videographers. Receptions remain prohibited.
  • Funeral ceremonies may have up to 20 people, not including facility staff, funeral clergy or organizers not considered guests. Receptions remain prohibited.
  • Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect

Kenney said further reopenings will be linked to the percentage of Albertans vaccinated against COVID-19 and the number of people in the hospital. A total of 2.55 million Albertans have had their first vaccine.

He said there would be a two-week delay in stage openings so people getting the vaccine have that time for it to become effective.

Kenney said the province was ready to move into Stage 1 on May 18, hence the delay for entering it until June 1.

Kenney said the province looks set to achieve a 60% vaccination rate in the province, meaning that, along with less than 500 hospitalizations, Alberta could move into Stage 2 in mid-June.

Stage 2 will see:

  • Outdoor social gatherings increase to 20 people, with distancing.
  • Wedding ceremonies may occur with up to 20 attendees. Receptions are permitted outdoors only.
  • Funeral ceremonies remain unchanged with up to 20 people permitted, not including facility staff, funeral clergy or organizers not considered guests. Receptions are permitted outdoors only.
  • Restaurants may seat tables with up to six people, indoors or outdoors.
    • Dining parties are no longer restricted to households only.
    • Physical distancing and other restrictions still apply.
  • Retail capacity increases to one-third of fire code occupancy (must maintain ability to distance).
  • Capacity for places of worship increases to one-third of fire code occupancy.
  • Gyms and other indoor fitness open for solo and drop-in activities with three-metre distancing between participants and fitness classes may resume with three-metre distancing.
  • Indoor settings may open with up to one-third of fire code occupancy, including indoor recreation centres. This includes arenas, cinemas, theatres, museums, art galleries and libraries.
  • Indoor and outdoor youth and adult sports resume with no restrictions.
  • Youth activities, such as day camps and play centres, may resume, with restrictions.
  • Personal and wellness services can resume walk-in services.
  • Post-secondary institutions can resume in-person learning.
  • The work-from-home order is lifted but still recommended.
  • Outdoor fixed seating facilities (e.g., grandstands) can open with one-third seated capacity.
  • Public outdoor gatherings increase to 150 people (e.g. concerts/festivals), with restrictions.
  • Distancing and masking requirements remain in effect.

Kenney said provincial vaccination rates should hit 70% in early July, meaning Stage 3 would be allowed to go ahead then.

Stage 3 would see all restrictions lifted meaning full attendance for things like the Calgary Stampede and CFL games.

Kenney did add Calgary Mayor Nenshi has said there might not be a permit allowed for the Stampede parade, but if that’s the case a scalled-down version might be had on the grounds.

Mandatory quarantine rules will still be in place for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19.

At a press conference, Kenney called it a “great day. One we have waited for a long time.

“Albertans haven’t just stopped the spike, they crushed it,” said Kenney, thanking Albertans for their sacrifices.

He said there are currently 548 people in hospital – down 150 from a week ago. The number of people in the ICU has dropped from 187 to 157.

“We can confidently expect pressures on hospitals to continue to go down,” said Kenney.

Meanwhile, the government is allowing accommodation providers to keep the tourism levy amounts they collect for an additional three months.

And the application intake for the spring 2021 payment from Alberta’s small business grant has been extended to June 30.

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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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. MD

    May 28, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Watch the high wire in Texas to get the real science and reporting on what is going on.
    Kenney doesn’t know what he’s doing or talking about. How do our politicians sleep at night?

    Major harms to kids and deaths after injections. Canada is mentioned in this week’s episode.
    https://thehighwire.com/watch/

  2. Barbara

    May 28, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    He just doesn’t get it . He’s handing out cookies and ice cream
    like we are errant children. Get vaccinated and we’ll open fully in July. Even his opening up the province is insulting.
    The only redemption here is that Rachel Notly would have been far worse.
    People now have a 3rd viable choice , thank goodness. The Wildrose has given us that.

  3. Marie Kuzek

    May 27, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    I was watching baseball games and hockey games and horse jumping finals on television. The crowds are packed and have been for weeks and months in some part of the world. This fear and propaganda here in our
    Province is shameful.

  4. MD

    May 27, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    I don’t believe anything that comes out of Jason Kenney’s mouth, he has lost all credibility. He says we are at the end of this thing. Really? He is not listening to the right doctors and the Science.
    The increase in vaccinations to get to Kenney’s targets the more we may see hospitalizations. It’s reported by healthcare whistleblowers in the US that 60% of Covid infections and hospitalizations are breakthrough cases. Let’s remember that these injections are not really vaccines. Kenney is playing with our minds as usual. He has a track record of coercing, insulting and blaming Albertans. I fully expect him to move the goal posts again.
    I’m thankful that half of Albertans have a brain and can think for themselves. There is hope.
    I’m all in for the Wildrose Independence Party. We need to break free from the communists.

  5. John Clark

    May 27, 2021 at 11:26 am

    There is no science involved in this decision. The WRP make up the caucus of the UCP and started the move to remove Kenny. China had numbers on COVID which were a fraction of what Alberta’s numbers are now. Two weeks later they are into a Level four pandemic! This, after thinking they were on their way out of it. The sickness and death following the Rodeo are all on the UCP’s playing to the crowd.

  6. Rick Johnson

    May 27, 2021 at 8:21 am

    This has been an aweful bloody long two weeks to stave off a cold.

  7. Lee Morrison

    May 27, 2021 at 8:15 am

    Cosmo Kramer: Any source for those stats or did you just dream them up?

  8. Liliana Brown

    May 27, 2021 at 7:12 am

    I think you mean May 28th not May 18..

  9. Mars Hill

    May 27, 2021 at 12:21 am

    The thing I have a hard time wrapping my mind around is that Kenney and the other fools are taking themselves seriously, it really is bizarre. In light of that thought the only thing that make sense to me is that many of these fools really don’t take themselves seriously and, see the people as fools and are implementing an agenda from their puppet masters. I suspect tribunals will sort it out.

  10. Steven Ruthven

    May 26, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    Yippee !! Wow !! The reality is back: Watching the doctors yipping and yapping about keeping us locked down. Not enough people vaccinated, could pose a big problem. Opening up to soon say the doctors on the news at 6 pm.

    Premier Kenney bends like to wind to the will of AHS. I don’t believe one word that comes out of that liars mouth. From UCP to WIPA for me.

  11. Baron Not Baron

    May 26, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    What a crook! He really thinks everyone is buying his BS? This #COVRIG thing never happened. Control experiment.

  12. Tony

    May 26, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    Thought experiment time. I read that approx 12k people are seriously injured or killed in car accidents annually in Canada. Should the speed limit on all roads therefore be lowered to 30km/h to prevent these serious injuries and fatalities? A rational person would say that such a low speed limit is a bad trade off for society as a whole. A similar cost benefit analysis applied to the debate about lockdowns and masks would result in a person being called a selfish bigot who wants to see harm come to everyone’s grandma. As Thomas Sowell said, there are no perfect solutions, just tradeoffs. Our leaders have all made bad tradeoffs because they are politicians first.

  13. Kelly Carter

    May 26, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Yet another “staged re-opening” where the goal posts can be randomly moved 🙄. I did see the political random we will be at stage 3 in time for Stampede 😂 Only because it will look good, and for no other reason.

  14. Pamela Bridger

    May 26, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    They can easily manipulate numbers up and down as they did with “case” numbers. Kenney has discredited himsel one to many times. Bring on the rodeo!!

  15. Striker

    May 26, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    This man is nothing less than an evil tyrant.

    Average life expectancy 81. Average age of covid death 81.

    This is not an emergency, and we’re never going to stay open if the bar is such that we need to prevent old people from dying to have our constitutional freedoms.

    He’ll be closing us back down this fall/winter after a few months of “freedom”.

    Alberta is a shithole like the rest of communist Canada, and we have cowardly Jason Kenney to thank.

  16. Cosmo Kramer

    May 26, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    Justin Kenney says “Albertans haven’t just stopped the spike. They crushed it.”

    Or maybe it is the mid spring warm weather, sunshine and vitamin D that crushed it. With possible adverse reactions to the untested and unknown injections the government has been marketing and when fall begins, I fear that very tough times are ahead.

    I considered emigrating to the USA 10 years ago and with job offers in hand we could have done it. Florida would have been nice. I really regret staying in Canada.

  17. berta baby

    May 26, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    @ tony good points…would the abortion my body my choice be open to perhaps a challenge if this precedent is established?
    If it is established could the government then force terminate pregnancy based on health conditions of the baby?

    Communist kenney is gonna have another initiative blow up in his face if he commits to this trajectory

  18. Tony

    May 26, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    I have become so disgusted with the government funded advertising/propaganda imploring us to take the vaccine. Now we have more passive-aggressive coercion in the form of “permitting” us to have a normal life again being contingent on vaccination rates. If someone’s assessment of the risks and rewards lead them to making a decision about the vaccine question, then so be it. Do not force people!! I have not seen any compelling argument that unvaccinated people impose a negative externality on the vaccinated. Should we be forced to give blood and become organ donators too?

  19. Bryan

    May 26, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    ‘Justin’ Kenney, your word is as valuable and trustworthy as your namesake in d’Ottawa, the Prime Mistake of Canada. Go flock off back to Ontario. Take your pal, Numbskull Nenshi, with you!

  20. John Lankers

    May 26, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    If his announcement included the immediate removal of all executive powers from AHS and Dr. Hinshaw he would have been more credible.
    I’m not holding my breath.

  21. berta baby

    May 26, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    @cosmo it’s coercion …. take freedoms then dangle freedoms back IF people take a vaccine that is only authorized under emergency orders… so what happens kenney if people say no? I’ll grow the hair out and have super on the deck… if bussiness owners that are closed don’t like that…. write a letter to the communist party

  22. K

    May 26, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    FUCK OFF. You didn’t keep your word last time, you won’t this time. You monsters can’t be trusted, and you don’t have the authority to tell us when and how we live our lives. All carrot and stick bullshit. We’re not dogs. This isn’t obedience training.

  23. Cosmo Kramer

    May 26, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    This is nothing. I can have a beer with 2 other people from my family on my deck. Churches still at 15% while Walmarts and Costcos are packed. Also, statement that further reopenings are dependent on people getting an approved for emergency use only experimental DNA altering injection. These injections have already caused more than 4000 deaths and more than 100,000 injuries in the USA at minimum (most go unreported). For vaccinations in the past, 50 deaths would trigger the vaccine get pulled.

    He is walking the line over violating the Nuremberg code. 2 more years to another election. We have to wait out the siege. I wonder how many of these politicians have been paid off to inflict death, suffering and misery.

  24. berta baby

    May 26, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Old communist kenney will change it in a few days… the cuck can’t help himself when it comes to lies.

  25. Andrew Pludek

    May 26, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Looking forward to the staged removal of Kenney, Hinshaw and the rest of the tyrants…..

  26. Josh

    May 26, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    What is this. The 3rd or 4th time they said this? They won’t keep their word.

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News

Penticton joins list of cities cancelling Canada Day celebtations

The mayor reached out to Chief Greg Gabriel of the Penticton Indian Band, to ask how council could support the local First Nations community following the Kamloops discovery.

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The city of Penticton has become the second municipality in BC to cancel Canada Day festivites.

Celebrating Canada Day has been called into question across the country after the discovery of the gravesites of 215 undocumented children at a Kamloops residential school.

“When we heard what happened in Kamloops and they found the 215 unmarked graves of those children, we thought it was appropriate to hold back and wait to see what the federal government was going to announce,” Mayor John Vassilaki told CBC.

The mayor reached out to Chief Greg Gabriel of the Penticton Indian Band, to ask how council could support the local First Nations community following the Kamloops discovery.

“The Chief also made a note that if we were to cool down the celebrations this year, it would be greatly appreciated by the Penticton Indian Band,” said Vassilaki. 

“And we wanted to show respect and reconciliation with what happened in Kamloops.”

St. Albert this weekend became the first city in Alberta to cancel celebrations.

“In respect of our community members who have experienced and continue to experience the effects of intergenerational trauma due to the residential school system, the City of St. Albert will not be hosting its annual Canada Day fireworks display this year,” it said in a tweet.

The city of Victoria was the first out of the block when they cancelled their Canada Day programing last week.

“As First Nations mourn and in light of the challenging moment we are in as a Canadian nation following the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former Kamloops Residential School, Council has decided to take the time to explore new possibilities, instead of the previously planned virtual Canada Day broadcast,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps in a media statement.

City council, who voted unanimously to change its plans for July 1, noted everyone will celebrate Canada Day in their own way.

“The City of Victoria aims to take leadership and provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and examination of what it means to be Canadian in light of recent events and what we already know from our past,” says the City of Victoria in a release.

Helps also made headlines in 2018 when she had a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald – one of the central figures involved in bringing residential schools into Canada – removed from the front of Victoria City Hall.

An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended residential schools between the 1860s and 1996, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Kamloops Industrial School (later known as the Kamloops Indian Residential School) was opened under Roman Catholic administration in 1890 before growing into the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system.

While several Catholic bishops across Canada have apologized and requested the release of documents in response to the discovery in Kamloops, the Vatican has yet to issue an apology or release documents.

As for the Canadian government, 15 tons of paper documents related to the residential school system between 1936 and 1944, including 200,000 Indian Affairs files, were destroyed by Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s government, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Final Report.

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

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News

St. Albert cancels Canada Day fireworks

Celebrating Canada Day has been called into question across the country after the discovery of the gravesites of 215 undocumented children at a Kamloops residential school.

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The city of St. Albert has become the first municipality in Alberta to cancel some Canada Day celebrations.

“In respect of our community members who have experienced and continue to experience the effects of intergenerational trauma due to the residential school system, the City of St. Albert will not be hosting its annual Canada Day fireworks display this year,” it said in a tweet.

Celebrating Canada Day has been called into question across the country after the discovery of the gravesites of 215 undocumented children at a Kamloops residential school.

The city of Victoria was the first out of the block when they cancelled their Canada Day programing last week.

“As First Nations mourn and in light of the challenging moment we are in as a Canadian nation following the discovery of the remains of 215 children at a former Kamloops Residential School, Council has decided to take the time to explore new possibilities, instead of the previously planned virtual Canada Day broadcast,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps in a media statement.

City council, who voted unanimously to change its plans for July 1, noted everyone will celebrate Canada Day in their own way.

“The City of Victoria aims to take leadership and provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and examination of what it means to be Canadian in light of recent events and what we already know from our past,” says the City of Victoria in a release.

Helps also made headlines in 2018 when she had a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald – one of the central figures involved in bringing residential schools into Canada – removed from the front of Victoria City Hall.

An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended residential schools between the 1860s and 1996, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Kamloops Industrial School (later known as the Kamloops Indian Residential School) was opened under Roman Catholic administration in 1890 before growing into the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system.

While several Catholic bishops across Canada have apologized and requested the release of documents in response to the discovery in Kamloops, the Vatican has yet to issue an apology or release documents.

As for the Canadian government, 15 tons of paper documents related to the residential school system between 1936 and 1944, including 200,000 Indian Affairs files, were destroyed by Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King’s government, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Final Report.

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

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News

BREAKING: Alberta to drop all COVID restrictions on Canada Day

Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday the province has reached the targets to launch Stage 3 which was a vaccination rate of 70.2% in the province.

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It’s all systems go for Alberta to launch into Stage 3 of its COVID-19 recovery plan.

Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday the province has reached the targets to launch Stage 3, which included a vaccination rate of 70.2% in the province.

He said Alberta will drop all COVID-19 regulations on July 1 and “our lives will get back to normal.”

That means:

  • All restrictions lifted, including ban on indoor social gatherings
  • Isolation requirements for confirmed cases of COVID-19 and some protective measures in continuing care settings remain

“This is a great day for Alberta! Thanks to the diligence of Albertans and the decision of 2.7 million folks to get vaccinated, we are now just two weeks away from getting our lives back to normal,” said Kenney at a Friday press conference.

“This is an important milestone and a great achievement, but we will not stop here. We will keep administering first and second doses as quickly as possible so we’re not just open for summer, but open for good.”

Kenney said the general indoor provincial mask mandate will be lifted, but masking may still be required in limited and specific settings.

And the mayors of Calgary and Edmonton have said they may continue with their municipal mask bylaws.

“With more than 70% of eligible Albertans now vaccinated with a first dose and more receiving second doses every day, the end of this pandemic is near,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

“Thank you to the Albertans who have rolled up their sleeves to get protected. For those who are still thinking about getting a shot, you have only one week to get your shot before we draw for $1 million and other great prizes.”

Anyone in Alberta aged 18 and over can still enter the first Open for Summer Lottery draw for a chance to win $1 million. Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on June 24 and proof of vaccination will be required to claim the prize. The winner will be announced on July 1.

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

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