MLA Discusses new Restrictions

MLA Discusses new Restrictions

Michelle Pinon
News Advertiser

Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MLA Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk issued a message to constituents on Dec.9, one day following the Province’s announcement of new restrictions and health measures that have been put in place.

“I know you have heard news of our province’s new measures to be immediately put in place. I know this makes many people unhappy and brings extra hardship. This situation is constantly changing and challenging to all of us. We all are affected by COVID-19 and its overwhelming rippling effects, myself included.”

She outlined the new measures and shared some of her personal thoughts and advice to constituents. “We all have the choice to stay positive and spread support to others. Take this opportunity to call family and friends, and spread some cheer to our community.”

At the start of November there were 143 people in hospital. Today, we have 654 which is devastating. This is the reason that we are imposing further lock downs. Our health system needs it. And they need your support. Sharing negative opinions does not change this.

Our businesses and charities need you now more than ever. If you can donate to your food bank or order take out from a local restaurant, or share posts on social media for small business owners, now is the time to do it. Anything will help.”

Armstrong-Homeniuk also said there are grants available to businesses and that the level of government support for them has been increased. “We are tripling the benefit from $5,000 to $15,000 and reducing the revenue loss threshold from 40 percent to 30 percent. Those who have already applied can now apply for a larger amount.”

The funding is specifically for small and medium sized businesses, co-ops and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 to offset a portion of their relaunch costs. According to the province, starting early the week of December 14, job creators who have experienced a 30% revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic will qualify for the program, lowering the threshold from the existing 40% revenue loss requirement. This 30% threshold will be available to impacted businesses retroactive to March.

Alberta businesses affected by the public health orders in effect from November 6, 2020 and later will also be eligible to apply for a second payment through the program.

The new measures include:

Social gatherings – immediate

  • All indoor and outdoor social gatherings – public and private – are prohibited.
  • Close contacts are limited to household members only.
    • Those who live alone will be allowed two close contacts for in-person visiting.
      • Those two people must remain the same for all restrictions.
    • Festivals, parades, events, concerts, exhibitions, competitions, sports and performances remain prohibited.

Masking – immediate

  • Province-wide mandatory indoor public masking.
    • Public spaces include locations where a business or entity operates and is applicable to employees, visitors and the general public.
    • Applies to all indoor workplaces and facilities outside the home.
    • Farm operations are excluded.

Places of worship – starting midnight, Dec. 13

  • All places of worship will be limited to 15 percent of fire code occupancy for in-person attendance.
    • Virtual or online services are strongly encouraged.
    • Drive-in services where individuals do not leave their vehicles and adhere to guidance will be permissible and are not subject to capacity restrictions.

Retail – starting midnight, Dec. 13

Retail services reduced to 15 percent of fire code occupancy, with a minimum of 5 customers.

    • Curbside pick-up, delivery and online services are encouraged.
    • Shopping malls will be limited to 15 per cent of fire code occupancy.

Closures – starting midnight, Dec. 13

Restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges, and cafes will be closed for in-person service.

    • Only take-out, curbside pickup, and delivery services will be permitted.
  • Casinos, bingo halls, gaming entertainment centres, racing entertainment centres, horse tracks, raceways, bowling alleys, pool halls, legions, and private clubs will be closed.
  • Recreational facilities – fitness centres, recreation centres, pools, spas, gyms, studios, day and overnight camps, indoor rinks, and arenas – will be closed.
  • Outdoor recreation is permitted, but facilities with indoor spaces except for washrooms will be closed.
  • Entertainments businesses and entities – libraries, science centres, interpretive centres, museums, galleries, amusement parks, and water parks – will be closed.
  • Hotels may remain open but must follow restrictions – no spas, pools, or in-person dining. Only room services will be permitted.
  • Personal and wellness services, including hair salons, nail salons, massage, tattoos, and piercing, will be closed.
  • Health services, including physiotherapy or acupuncture, social or protective services, shelters for vulnerable persons, emergency services, childcare, and not-for-profit community kitchens, or charitable kitchens will remain open for in-person attendance.


Work from home – starting midnight Dec. 13

  • Mandatory work-from-home measures will be implemented unless an employer determines that work requires a physical presence for operational effectiveness.


Closures – ongoing from Nov. 27

  • Entertainment businesses and entities – community halls and centres, indoor children’s play centres and indoor playgrounds, theatres, auditoriums, concert halls and community theatres, nightclubs, banquet halls and conference centres, indoor and outdoor festivals, concerts (with the exception of drive-in events), tradeshows, and sporting events or competitions – remain closed.