Alberta Minute: More Restrictions, More Protests, and a Lapsed Law Will Return
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature remains suspended until at least May 17th due to the COVID situation in the Province. The government said it is "leading by example by suspending the proceedings". With pretty much every non-essential business now closed, we can only assume that means the government considers itself non-essential!
- Committee meetings are continuing virtually so, on Tuesday at 8:00 am the Standing Committee on Public Accounts will meet to discuss the Ministry of Children's Services' Annual Report and Auditor General Recommendations.
- In COVID news, new rules closing schools, recreation, gyms, personal services and restaurants are now in force. On the bright side, Montana will begin providing Johnson and Johnson vaccines to Alberta truckers today, similar to the deals Saskatchewan and Manitoba have also struck with their US neighbours.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The provincial government implemented new restrictions, some of which came into force immediately and some of which were delayed until this week (see above). While the closures will be hard for all, spare a special thought for the many restaurant owners who had literally just finished spending thousands of dollars building new patios, having been told this was the only way they could stay open, only to then have them almost immediately closed.
- One restaurant that had refused to close, the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, was forcibly closed by AHS for repeated violations of COVID restrictions. A protest had been planned for the weekend but AHS went to court to obtain an injunction against the protest, saying: "...the event [i]s an illegal public gathering that does not comply with Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) Order requirements on masking, attendance limits and physical distancing".
- Finally, the "turn off the taps" law lapsed last week. The law was originally introduced by the NDP in 2018, but was not proclaimed until the UCP took power in 2019, and contained a two-year sunset clause. The UCP say they will reintroduce the law with "minor changes", though with the issue still before the courts, it could be some time until this issue is resolved.
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