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Alberta

Alberta drops almost all public health restrictions – Municipalities will have to follow suit

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Alberta is a leader in lifting the majority of public health measures, as the province moves to step two of reopening.

Albertans are now able to enjoy social gatherings without limits again and visit businesses without capacity restrictions. Children and youth are free to resume regular school life and enjoy activities without mandatory prior screening.

The provincial mandatory mask mandate has also ended, except in AHS facilities, continuing care and on public transit in order to protect vulnerable Albertans.

Mandatory isolation for COVID-19 core symptoms or a positive test result remains in place. Isolation periods are five days at home and five days of continued masking for fully vaccinated individuals, or 10 days for partially and unvaccinated individuals.

Step two

Now in effect:

  • Remaining provincial school requirements (including cohorting) are removed.
  • Screening prior to youth activities is no longer required.
  • Capacity limits are lifted for all venues.
  • Limits on social gatherings are removed.
  • The provincial mask mandate is lifted in most settings. However, masking will still be required in the following high-risk settings: on public transit, at Alberta Health Services-operated and contracted facilities and all continuing care settings.
    • Municipal bylaws may continue to be in effect.
    • Albertans may wish to consider individual risk factors and choose to wear masks in other public indoor settings.
  • Restrictions on interactive activities, liquor service and operating hours are lifted.
  • Mandatory work-from-home requirement is removed.

Step three

To be determined based on hospitalization rates continuing to trend downwards.

  • COVID-19-specific measures in continuing care and AHS facilities and on public transit will be removed.
  • Mandatory isolation becomes a recommendation only.

Additional details on all restrictions and measures in place are available at alberta.ca.

“I am proud of our province and its people on reaching this milestone. The majority of Albertans came together to keep everyone safe, and this is the result we were working towards. The pressure on our health-care system and the people it serves is lessening and we can now move forward. As we safely get our lives back to normal, we can move forward toward Alberta’s great economic recovery.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“Thanks to the vaccination uptake in the province and the commitment of millions of Albertans these past two years, we are closing in on normal life. As we shift to an endemic response, I am confident that we can take the lessons we have learned through this pandemic to build an even more robust health-care system for our province’s future.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health

Alberta

Elks down Tiger-Cats 29-25 for first win of CFL season

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HAMILTON — Tre Ford was in his happy place Friday in Hamilton.

The Edmonton Elks quarterback got a win in his first career CFL start 30 minutes down the Queen Elizabeth Highway from his hometown of Niagara Falls, Ont.

The Elks came from behind to beat the Tiger-Cats 29-25 in front of 20,233 at Tim Hortons Field.

“To come back to Hamilton and have all my family watching me get that first start and that first win has been fantastic,” Ford said.

Among Ford’s supporters were his wife, parents, sister, sister-in-law and mother-in-law, his high school football coach from A.N. Myer Secondary, his University of Waterloo head coach Chris Bertoia, eight of his former university teammates and more friends.

Ford was shaky at times as the Elks trailed by 13 points early in the second half.

But the 2021 winner of the Hec Crighton Trophy winner that goes to the most outstanding Canadian university football player threw a game-tying touchdown pass to Kenny Lawler early in the fourth quarter.

The winning play for the Elks (1-3) arrived with 1:38 remaining when defensive back Scott Hutter tackled Hamilton quarterback Dane Evans and knocked the ball loose.

Jalen Collins recovered for a 14-yard touchdown.

“I saw him tackle him and thought, ‘please punch the ball out,” Collins said. “All we needed was an opportunity to close the game out. We were fighting all night. It was ugly.”

The winless Tiger-Cats opened a season with four straight losses for the first time since 2017 when they started 0-8.

“I want to apologize to all the guys. I put both home losses on me,” Evans said. “I just have to take care of it, and we win the game.”

Evans was 20-for-31 in passing for 197 yards and a touchdown throw. He was intercepted twice.

Ford’s numbers didn’t sparkle, although he did rush for 61 yards on six carries. The 24-year-old competed 15 of 26 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted once.

Edmonton’s defence helped out with interceptions by Sheldon Brady and Matthew Thomas, as well as the pivotal late-game recovered fumble by Collins.

“A big shout out to the defence,” Ford said. “They won us that game. They made what, three or four turnovers? They did super well.

“I have room for improvement. I’m not going to complain because we did win. But I’m going to hit the film room to see what I can critique and where I can get better.”

Hamilton went after the rookie with various blitzes in the first half.

“My legs are going to open things up for my arm,” Ford said.

Ford credited teammate and quarterback Nick Arbuckle, who started in Edmonton’s three losses this season, for advising him during the game on defensive reads.

“He’s been like that since day one, even though we’re competitors for the position,” Ford said.

He admitted to early jitters as Hamilton led 16-6 after the first quarter and 19-9 at halftime.

“I always get nervous for the first play of every game,” Ford said. “I think it’s a good thing because it means I care and that I want to win.”

Evans hit Steven Dunbar for a 21-yard strike, and Lawrence Woods returned a kickoff of 72 yards for Hamilton’s first-half touchdowns.

Edmonton’s Kai Locksley scored on a one-yard plunge.

Elks kicker Sergio Castillo made two of his three field-goal attempts, while Hamilton counterpart Michael Domagala nailed his three and gave the Ticats at lead with a 33-yarder with 3:10 remaining in the game

“We’re not good enough right now,” Hamilton head coach Orlondo Steinauer said. “We’re not executing at the level which needs to happen. We’re just not making those plays we need to make.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2022.

Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press

 

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Alberta

Calgary Stampede receives $10M from federal government to aid recovery from pandemic

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Calgary – The Calgary Stampede has received more than $10 million from the federal government to help it bounce back after last year’s event was scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A report to the city this week showed the Stampede had an operating loss of $8.3 million in 2021.

Last year’s Stampede ran at half capacity because of COVID-19 public health measures and was cancelled all-together the year before.

Daniel Vandal, the federal minister for Prairies Economic Development Canada, says the money aims to support a full-scale Stampede to deliver the “authentic western experience” this year.

He says it would also help to reignite Alberta’s visitor economy.

The 2022 Stampede is set to run from July 8 to 17.

“Festivals large and small were hard hit during the pandemic,” Vandal said in a news release. “They are events where families and friends come together and take in the exciting atmosphere.

“The tourism industry is facing a strong comeback providing quality jobs across the country, showcasing stunning landscapes and offering exciting experiences right here in Alberta.”

The federal government also provided about $1.8 million for four other tourism projects in southern Alberta: Charmed Resorts, Cochrane Tourism Association, Heritage Park and Tourism Calgary.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2022.

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