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Alberta “Open for Summer” plan to begin Friday

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Alberta’s Open For Summer Plan

Alberta’s government will remove provincewide health measures in three stages as vaccine targets are reached and hospitalizations decline.

Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan provides a three-stage road map to lifting health restrictions and safely getting back to normal.

The plan provides Albertans with a clear picture of a summer without restrictions as long as Albertans continue to follow public health measures in the short term and vaccination numbers continue to rise quickly.

Alberta’s Open for Summer Plan includes three stages based on vaccination thresholds and hospitalizations:

  • Stage 1: Two weeks after 50 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine and COVID-19 hospitalizations are below 800 and declining.
  • Stage 2: Two weeks after 60 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine and COVID-19 hospitalizations are below 500 and declining.
  • Stage 3: Two weeks after 70 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine.

Since Alberta reached the 50 per cent threshold for one-dose vaccination on May 18, and with hospitalizations well below 800, Alberta will enter Stage 1 on June 1. Based on the current pace of vaccinations, Alberta is projected to enter Stage 2 in mid-June and Stage 3 in late June or early July. These are estimates only and rely on all Albertans continuing to drive down our hospitalizations while increasing vaccination numbers.

“This is the day we have all waited for. We now have a clear plan to lift all public health restrictions and get back to normal. So long as Albertans continue to get vaccinated in strong numbers, Alberta will be fully open and back to normal for a truly great Alberta summer.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“Our Open for Summer Plan is a responsible plan to get back to normal while at the same time protecting our health-care system. We will end this pandemic the same way we started it – by ensuring we have world-class health care available to every Albertan who needs it.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“Thanks to vaccines, we can start moving safely forward. Please book your vaccine appointment and also keep following the measures in place for a little while longer. That will protect our communities and this reopening plan.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

Stage 1: Two weeks after 50 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine and hospitalizations are below 800 and declining.

Starting May 28:

  • The capacity limit for worship services increases to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy.

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 per cent 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.

Stage 2: Two weeks after 60 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine and hospitalizations are below 500 and declining.

  • 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.

Stage 3: Two weeks after 70 per cent of Albertans age 12-plus have received at least one dose of vaccine.

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

Additional details on all restrictions and measures in place will be released prior to each step. Albertans can track the province’s immunization progress on alberta.ca.

Provincial COVID-19 transmission will continue to be monitored throughout the reopening. If required, a reopening step may be paused to respond to COVID-19 transmission trends at regional or provincial levels.

Sustained reopening will depend on Albertans getting fully vaccinated with two doses during the summer months to prevent future spread of COVID-19.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

Quick facts

  • More than 2.55 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in Alberta.

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

Saskatchewan ranchers call for investigation into retail meat pricing

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REGINA — A group of Canadian ranchers is calling for an investigation into meat pricing.

The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association says it’s asking the provincial and federal governments to look into what it calls an “imbalance” between the price ranchers receive for the cattle and the price consumers pay at the meat counter.

The group says many ranchers and feedlots are operating at a loss this year. Grass is still scarce on the Prairies due to last summer’s drought, and the cost of feed grain and fuel has skyrocketed since last year.

But packers and retailers are reporting strong profits this year. The Stock Growers say they believe slaughterhouses may be intentionally running fewer shifts to in order to keep wholesale beef prices high and allow fed cattle supplies to build up in the countryside.

In the U.S., the Biden administration has already expressed concerns about rising meat prices and vowed to implement policies aimed at increasing competition in the meat-packing sector.

According to Statistics Canada, the retail price of beef is up 11.2 per cent year-over-year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

First test production of plastic a milestone for Heartland Petrochemical Complex

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CALGARY — The $4.3-billion Heartland Petrochemical Complex, which has been under construction northeast of Edmonton since 2018, has produced its first plastic pellets.

Owner and operator Inter Pipeline Ltd. said Tuesday the newly commissioned facility has been producing test pellets steadily since late June, an important milestone en route to the expected start of full commercial operation sometime this fall.

The Heartland Petrochemical Complex will convert Alberta propane into 525,000 tonnes per year of polypropylene beads, an easily transported form of plastic that is used in the manufacturing of a wide range of finished products.

Steven Noble, spokesman for Calgary-based Inter Pipeline, said the facility will be the first integrated propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene production facility in North America. He said approximately 70 per cent of Heartland’s total production capacity has been already contracted out to long-term customers.

“Through the duration of the project’s construction, we’ve seen demand for polypropylene increase significantly … including at one point hitting an all-time record (market price),” Noble said in an interview. “The demand that we initially forecast certainly hasn’t gone away.”

The Heartland facility is being built with the support of a $408-million grant from Alberta’s provincial government. The cash grant, part of an incentive program aimed at growing the province’s petrochemicals sector, is to be paid to Inter Pipeline in equal instalments over three years once the complex is operational.

Noble said by creating a new market for propane, the Heartland facility is an example of how natural resource development in Alberta is diversifying.

“The fact that we’re now looking at our raw resources in a different way, and figuring out different ways to get value out of them and create other refined products right here at home … is really the part of the story that everyone here is excited about,” he said.

The Heartland Petrochemical Complex is expected to employ 300 people once fully operational.

The polypropylene produced at the facility will be branded as Heartland Polymers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2022.

Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press

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july, 2022

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