Saturday , 25 September 2021

MLA Hanson talks reopening the economy, loosening restrictions to come

Premier Jason Kenney is expected to announce Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy sometime this week and Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA David Hanson commented on the current situation on Monday.

The relaunch strategy is expected to contain details about how and when the progress in the province’s COVID-19 situation could loosen public health orders.

Without divulging details, Hanson responded to a question he’s heard often, when can we get back to work?

“I hear that and one of the frustrating things that I’ve heard and we’ve discussed in the caucus is that smaller businesses are closed off, [but] some of the bigger ones are still allowed to operate,” said Hanson

“And so we have had those discussions where if a small operator wants to follow some protocols, so we’re looking at that and hopefully some changes will be coming.”

Other provinces including Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have detailed and datedsteps in place on how and when to open up certain businesses or public spaces.

On Monday, the two hardest-hit provinces from COVID-19, Ontario and Quebec, announced a framework on how easing restrictions will go.

“But it’s all fully dependent on the numbers, right? If our curve starts to flatten out, then we can look at some recovery. If it starts to climb up again, then of course, we’re gonna have to maintain precautions and have those controls,” said Hanson.

“What happened down in south of Calgary there at the meatpacking plant [Cargill] is a good indication of how quickly things can go sideways, so we have to be very cognizant of that and be cautious and just ask people to patient.

“We’ve been through about six weeks or eight weeks of this. We may have some more to go. But now’s not the time to drop our guard. I think it’s important people understand that and work with us on that.”

Hanson said a decision will be made soon on whether camping or golfing will be allowed this summer and previously alluded in March at infrastructure money to spend across the province.

“I know that there’s a lot of stress out there, tons of stress out there. But we have to work together and help out your neighbors if you can. If you’ve got seniors in your area that you can reach out to. Donate to your food banks.

“If you’re feeling pressure, there’s probably a lot of people underneath that are a lot worse off than you are. So please reach out and help your neighbors.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.