Posted on May 26, 2021


EDMONTON - NDP Leader Rachel Notley expressed concern over the pace of the UCP government’s reopening plan. 

The plan will lift all restrictions by early July, months ahead of other provinces. The first phase is triggered in part by a 50 per cent vaccination rate, while other provinces are waiting for 60 or 70 per cent. Similarly, other provinces wait three weeks after hitting key thresholds before moving to the next step, whereas the UCP plan only has two weeks between steps.

“I know many people are looking forward to a time without restrictions, without masks, and without the stresses of the pandemic weighing on all of us. I am one of those people,” said Notley. 

“But I am concerned about the pace of this reopening plan, given that we had the highest rate of infection of anywhere in Canada or the US earlier this very month,” said Notley. “I have questions about how the premier decided on this pace, and whether it was informed by science, or simply by working backwards from the first day of the Calgary Stampede.”

In Ontario’s best-case scenario, indoor dining with restrictions won’t open until July 22nd, but in Alberta that happens July 1st with no restrictions.

In Quebec, outdoor festivals and fairs with more than 2,500 people won’t happen until the end of August, or until 75 per cent of Quebecers have their second dose.

Meanwhile, major fairs in Alberta with potentially more than 100,000 people will open two months earlier with no restrictions.

“Jason Kenney has downplayed the risk of COVID, he has ignored warnings, he failed to act for weeks on end when the danger was obvious, and he failed to enforce the rules until the violations became international news,” Notley said.

“I hope that this plan does not continue Jason Kenney’s pattern of failure to responsibly manage Alberta’s pandemic response.”