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UPDATED: Kenney puts Alberta in hard 3-week lockdown

Kenney, in a televised address said the move was needed to “avoid disaster in our hospitals.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has ordered a three-week hard lockdown on the province.

In a televised address, Kenney said the move was needed a “avoid disaster unfolding in our hospitals.

“We will not permit our health care system to be overwhelmed,” he said.

“This is a last resort and a necessary step. With cases continuing to rise, we have no choice but to take serious action now or jeopardize putting the health system at risk. If we don’t do this now, if this doesn’t work, then we’ll need a much longer list of restrictions, which no Albertan wants to see. The best way to get out of this is for all Albertans to follow these new measures and get vaccinated when it’s their turn.”

Kenney had previously been scheduled to give a press conference and take questions from reporters, but it was canceled in favour of the speech soon after the Western Standard published a story about his comments to the UCP caucus following the Bowden rodeo where he said “I want a new base”.

He said as of Tuesday there were 671 people in hospital with 150 in ICU.

Here’s a list of the new regulations:

Schools

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions

  • Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools will transition to online learning, effective May 7.
  • Post-secondary schools will transition to online learning, effective May 5.
  • Childcare facilities can remain open.

Indoor gatherings

  • All indoor gatherings remain prohibited.

Outdoor gatherings

  • All outdoor social gatherings must be limited to no more than 5 people and a maximum of 2 household cohorts.
  • Mandatory physical distancing must be maintained at all times between members of different households.

RETAIL

  • Retail services must limit customer capacity to 10% of fire code occupancy (not including staff) or a minimum of 5 customers. This includes individual stores and common areas.
  • Shopping mall capacity limits will exclude common area square footage.
  • Curbside pick-up, delivery and online services are encouraged.

Restaurants, bars, pubs, lounges and cafes

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions – Effective 11:59 pm on May 9

  • All in-person dining, including on patios, is prohibited.
  • Only take out or delivery services are allowed.

Indoor activities

  • All indoor sport, performance and recreation activities for youth and adults are prohibited.
  • Indoor fitness and recreation facilities must close, including for 1-on-1 training.

Outdoor activities

  • All outdoor sports and recreation activities are prohibited, except with members of your household, or your two close contacts if you live alone. This includes:
    • all group physical activities, such as team sports, fitness classes, training sessions
    • all one-on-one lessons and training activities
    • all practices, training and games
  • Outdoor recreation facilities can remain open unless specifically closed by public health order.

Professional sport organizations

  • Professional sport organizations that have received an exemption can continue, provided protocols are strictly followed.

Personal and wellness services

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions – Effective at 11:59 pm on May 9

  • Personal and wellness services, including hair salons, barbers, nail salons, estheticians, tattoos and piercing, must close.

Places of worship

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions – Effective May 5

  • Faith services are limited to 15 in-person attendees.
  • Physical distancing between households must be maintained at all times.
  • Virtual or online services are strongly recommended.
  • Drive-in services where people do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance are allowed.

Funerals

Mandatory, additional restrictions for hot spot regions – Effective May 5

  • 10-people maximum for funerals, including participants and guests.
  • Funeral receptions are not permitted.

Kenney is also doubling the fine for not obeying COVID-19 cabinet orders from $1,000 to $2,000. The maximum fine stays the same at $100,000.

“We will not tolerate those who endanger the health of fellow Albertans,” said Kenney.

Retail spaces will be limited to 10% of capacity.

Outdoor gathering limits will drop from 10 people currently to 5.

Churches have to change from 15% capacity to only 15 people.

Funeral services are having their attendance cut in half from 20-10.

Kenney called on those who can work from home, to do so.

“If you can stay home, do so for the next three weeks,” said Kenney.

Normal procedure for previous lockdowns has been for Kenney to appear in a press conference format – announcing the new restrictions and then taking questions from the media.

But after an exclusive story this afternoon from the Western Standard, the premier’s office changed the Tuesday night event to a televised address where no questions could be asked.

The Western Standard has learned Kenney told a closed-door UCP caucus meeting on Sunday “I want a new base” as he slammed the rogue anti-lockdown rodeo in Bowden.

Kenney used the Sunday virtual caucus meeting to rail against the ‘No More Lockdowns Rodeo’, which attracted approximately 4,000-5,000 attendees over the weekend.

Three UCP MLAs, who spoke to the Western Standard on the condition of anonymity, said another MLA spoke up and reminded Kenney that the people who went to the rodeo were the “base” of the UCP’s support.

“If they are our base, I want a new base,” Kenney told the meeting, according to the three MLAs.

On Monday, when Kenney announced further restrictions were coming, he noted cases were dropping in BC and Saskatchewan, who have similar restrictions.

“These are people that simply don’t care about COVID,” said Kenney, adding the rodeo crowd believed COVID-19 was a “conspiracy or hoax.

“Too many Albertans are ignoring the rules in place.

“(They have) forced me to take further steps. Stronger health measures will be announced (Tuesday).”

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 Editor 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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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Dennis Richter

    May 5, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Time for Albertans to look to a whole new government “For the People, By the People”. Purchase a membership in the Wildrose Independance Party of Alberta and invest in the future of Alberta. Left or Right? The status quo is not working. It’s time for a change in 2023. https://wildrose.party/

  2. Left Coast

    May 5, 2021 at 8:58 am

    671 people in hospital in Alberta ? ? ?
    Alberta has about 150 hospitals, that 4.4 people per hospital.
    Is the Health System in that bad a shape it can’t handle those tiny numbers?

    People have been avoiding Hospitals for a year now . . . how’s that working out?

    Perhaps no one has explained to this lame Premier that most folks catch the virus indoors ie at home.

    I heard a rumor that Lockdown No. 9 is the key to success . . .

    Meanwhile, Florida, Tenassee, South Dakota, Texas and Sweden are doing fine today . . . how about asking what they are doing correct Mr. Premier?

  3. Kathleen Gust

    May 4, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    Canadian economist from Simon Fraser University Douglas Ward Allen published a cost benefit analysis of lockdowns: http://www.sfu.ca/~allen/LockdownReport.pdf

    Douglas Ward Allen’s conclusion: Lockdowns are the “greatest peacetime policy failure” in Canada’s history. https://fee.org/articles/economist-lockdowns-greatest-peacetime-policy-failure-in-canada-s-history/

  4. Robert Lang

    May 4, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    Kenney has lost his mind and his base. I caught covid by visiting a hospital emergency ward. Proving wearing a mask didn’t protect me. However, it feels like a very mild cold. Lockdowns are a inexcusable method of controlling what can’t be stopped.

  5. Erik Tarves

    May 4, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Maybe those third world places have it figured out when it comes to bad leadership.

    Get a crowd and do bad things to these scumbag politicans,remind them who they work for

  6. Proudly_Free

    May 4, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    If Comrade Kenney really gave a rip about treating sick people, he would’ve ordered at least 6 truckloads of IVERMECTIN months ago. Then we could all just go the doctor, get a prescription, go home and take the damn things and get better. And we would have at least 80 percent fewer cases of real sick people. This is the move of a clueless, vindictive, petty overgrown child tyrant throwing a temper tantrum over his subject’s exercising their civic duty to protest laws and rules that are utterly antithetical to human flourishing.

    Great way to protect lives and livelihoods by fining us all $100,000 for the “crime” of coming within 5ft of another human being a few times in row! EXCELLENT WORK, COMRADE!! You are well on your way to fulfilling your goal of becoming Supreme Leader of the People’s Republic of Alberta very soon!

  7. John

    May 4, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    Kenney said that the Constitution forbids infringement on rights unless it is absolutely necessary and “if it will not overwhelm our health care system “. I don’t recall reading that latter part in the constitution… we each pay 7500 a year into our Heath care system— the only thing we have required/expected is for the government to manage it well. They are admitting they cannot do so.

    I am 48. So far I have paid 360,000 into AB health. And yet I’m told that I cannot live my life normally, because they don’t have room for me to get sick in the public system. The way I see it is that they owe me 350k worth of care. If they don’t understand how to make that work, they’re clearly incompetent.

    , I would like to keep my annual contribution of 7500 and make my own choices, thank you very much. A private doctor would cost me much less than 360K.

    Who is with me?

  8. Kelly Carter

    May 4, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    The only one who does not care about the health of Albertan’s is Jason Kenney. Time to recall Kenney, fire Dr. Hinshaw and put someone in who can understand real world data and the full situation.

  9. DanBC

    May 4, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    Look how many so-called conservatives that get elected, turn into statists and leftists as soon as the job gets tough. Kenney is a grotesque fraud

  10. Declan Carroll

    May 4, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    Only one answer to this garbage is to keep your businesses open and get to work planning the next rodeo. This only ends when we make it end!

  11. Rob K

    May 4, 2021 at 6:48 pm

    You got that right.

  12. Baron Not Baron

    May 4, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    Kenney has to get the hell out immediately! He doesn’t represent any Albertans. He is the enemy of our province! So get out! Resign now!

  13. K Snyder

    May 4, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    The problem Kenney has is we can read and analyze data ourselves. The numbers don’t lie. Only the socialists support this kind of nonsense. This is nothing but a bully move by a premier on his way out.

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Bowden and District Agricultural Society demands retraction from Kenney for rodeo comments

“So if the premier’s going to go on TV and run Bowden through the mud, he might want to be accountable himself and retract his statement,” said society president Keith Bailey.

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Officials with the Bowden and District Agricultural Society are demanding an apology from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney who has gone on multiple tirades against the No More Lockdowns Rodeo event that took place near there over the weekend.

On social media on Sunday, Kenney called the rodeo “disturbing.”

“It is disturbing to see large numbers of people gathering this weekend at Bowden in flagrant violation of COVID-19 public health measures,” Kenney said on his Facebook page.

“We are all sick of this. We all want it to end. Thousands of Albertans are following the rules, sacrificing travel and social gatherings to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Not only are gatherings like this a threat to public health, they are a slap in the face to everybody who is observing the rules to keep themselves and their fellow Albertans safe.

“On a personal note, I’m angered and saddened to see so many people selfishly put themselves ahead of others. Rodeo celebrates Alberta’s Western heritage, a key part of which is our community spirit and looking out for others, especially the vulnerable. That’s the opposite of what these folks are doing.”

On Monday, Kenney said that tougher lockdowns and restrictions were coming, driven by Albertans not complying with existing orders, like those at the rodeo.

Kenney’s comments didn’t sit well with town officials.

The Town of Bowden and the BDAS sent out a joint statement about Kenney’s comments on Tuesday.

“The event was held on private property outside of the municipal boundaries of the Town of Bowden.” said the statement.

“The Town of Bowden and the Bowden and District Agricultural Society did not endorse or have any involvement in this event. 

“Alberta Health Services (AHS) had knowledge of the event and we were informed that they had jurisdiction.” 

But Bowden and District Agricultural Society (BDAS) president Keith Bailey went even further about Kenney dragging the town through the mud.

“It was not a community of Bowden event or a Town of Bowden event or a Bowden agricultural event. It was out in a private property,” Bailey said during an interview with MountainView Today.

“So if the premier’s going to go on TV and run Bowden through the mud, he might want to be accountable himself and retract his statement.”

The premier’s office was asked for comment on Bailey’s statement, MountainView Today reported. 

“Aside from mentioning briefly where the event took place, the premier was careful not to implicate any organization in his comments,” an email from his office said.

“Nothing in his statement placed blame on either the Town of Bowden or the Bowden agricultural society. To the contrary, the premier made clear that established organizations were not involved in the event.”

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

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BROWN: Ontario’s experiment in self-destruction

“Ontario Premier Doug Ford is now ‘social distancing’ himself from reality.”

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Guest Column from Alexander Brown Communications Director for the National Citizens Coalition.

In a now-infamous column in The Atlantic – written back in those halcyon days where we viewed NPIs (read: lockdowns) as sacred and unquestionable – a journalist castigated “Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice” as the state looked to reopen.

And then something funny happened. In the months to follow, the apocalypse never came. Georgia ended up with fewer COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people than 18 other U.S. states. Many of those states had the strictest of lockdowns.

Today in Atlanta, the Braves are now playing baseball in front of 40,000 cheering fans.

If Ontario Premier Doug Ford was capable of recognizing these myriad, incongruous moments, or if he’d even taken the time to read the now dozens of studies that highlight the rather dubious efficacy behind small business lockdowns, school closures, and particularly any limitations on the safety of the great outdoors, perhaps Ontarians wouldn’t once again find themselves welded inside of their own homes.

But after 15 months of zero lessons learned, Ontario feels like it’s back to square one, when in reality, we’re so close to the finish line.

It never had to get this bad.

As much as the premier has been preyed upon by every union, special-interest, and conflict-of-interest under the Toronto sun, as of late, he only has himself to blame.

Why is that?

Doug Ford has a problem. And no, it’s not just Ontario’s notoriously over-stuffed, and mismanaged hospitals, although that has certainly compounded the province’s present-day calamity in regards to a worrying, end-of-respiratory-season hospitalization peak, and a relentless, daily ‘messaging apocalypse’ carried out by government, media, and a rotating cast of television doctors with side businesses.

His problem lies in that ‘messaging apocalypse’. Even as the province begins to turn the corner, the Ford is – somewhat ironically – utterly immune to inspiring positivity.

This Friday, not one day after New York City announced a hopeful “full reopening” for summer, Ford held a press conference from home, and inexplicably decided to start sounding the alarm on the threat of a “fourth wave”, and “deadly, vaccine-resistant variants”.

If this was a clumsy attempt to shift some of the blame back onto Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for what Ford perceives as a failure to secure the border, it’s irresponsible at best, and dangerous at worst. One should not be fomenting fears at a moment when the provinces should be encouraging the efficacy of vaccines as an option for those who want one, and laying out clear exit strategies for Canadians to follow.

As the National Post’s Chris Selley has pointed out numerous times, “This province’s ability to maximize misery while minimizing results and refusing to keep anything in perspective should be bottled and fired into the sun.

This was one of those moments. This was the new ‘premier dad’ at his absolute worst. It’s often hard to believe that Ford occupies the same landmass as a BC Medical Officer of Health who speaks positively about being in a “post-pandemic world this summer”, and who actually encourages happy, healthy outdoor behaviour. (As of writing, golf, tennis, basketball, and most forms of outdoor recreation are still banned in the province of Ontario.)

As the likes of Selley, Furey, Lilley, and Randall Denley noticed in the early days of COVID-19, something was rotten in the state of Denmark when it came to Ford’s stage presence. An early pandemic darling for his can-do attitude his empathy for those who were as scared as he was, Ford would still stride to the podium like he was in the midst of passing a kidney stone. And eventually, as the needs of greater public health – like Ontario’s millions of missed cancer screenings, and a major mental health crisis – started to push the premier to (rightfully) reopen the province, his status as a pandemic darling began to wane.

His new friends abandoned him in record time. And his once rock-solid ‘Ford nation’ base felt increasingly alienated by his tepid endorsements of small business, and his continued myopic approach to lockdowns. 

15 months later, and that hasn’t changed, even as the world has changed around Ontario.

At this point, that should only be hard to believe for those who haven’t been paying attention.

We now know definitively that you’re supposed to put resources before restrictions. That you should never close schools. And for the love of all things good and holy, you need to let people exercise and stay healthy when they’re faced with an endemic virus with a proven track record against those dealing with obesity and high blood pressure.

Going forward, this leaves Ontarians in an uncomfortable position. Either the premier’s hyperbolic, hyper-negative messaging on ‘fourth waves’ and the futile nature of vaccines shows that ‘premier dad’ really does care more than others, or, he really does plan on being one of the last leaders in the free world to move on from COVID-19.

Rational Ontarians, of course, know that it’s the latter.

If only he’d just come out and say it: he’s scared. He’s not ready to move forward, or to get back to normal. It’s hard to begrudge someone their fears, frustrations, and resentments, especially after a 2020-21 was spent fielding demands, anguished cries, and vile abuse. 

But he owes it to Ontarians to just come out and say it.

“Folks, I’m not ready. In fact, I don’t know when I’ll be.”

Either set a date for reopening, or set them free.

Guest Column from Alexander Brown Communications Director for the National Citizens Coalition.

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WATCH: The Pipeline. April 28, 2021

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The Pipeline a weekly, live show where Western Standard personalities discuss and analyze top issues of the day.

This week, publisher Derek Fildebrandt was joined by news editor Dave Naylor and columnist Cory Morgan.

Subjects were the continuing drop in support for Erin O’Toole and the Conservative Party of Canada in the polls as a potential election looms.

Bill C-10 threatens free speech and internet broadcasters on every level;.

Preparing for a rodeo, Ty Northcott is holding a rogue rally/rodeo in Bowden Alberta on May 1st and 2nd. The Western Standard will be sending a team with exclusive and live coverage of the event.



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