Sexsmith lobbies province for change in COVID course

·1 min read

The Town of Sexsmith reached out to premier Jason Kenney last Wednesday regarding council’s views on COVID measures.

The town’s letter asks Kenney to consider loosening various restitutions and adjusting contact tracing.

“This was an opportunity to put into words what we’ve been hearing from our residents,” said mayor Kate Potter.

Potter said there was “a vast difference of opinion” among councillors as to what to ask for, but they developed a consensus on points to make.

Potter said council is particularly concerned about differing restrictions on businesses such as gyms.

Currently, gyms are only allowed to offer one-on-one training indoors.

“They’ve seen very little evidence of cases tied to those places, yet they are restricted,” Potter said.

“The provincial government has said all along that they want targeted restrictions based on evidence, so we’re wondering why those restrictions are in place.”

Another change the letter proposes is allowing two households to develop a cohort with each other, something that was allowed last spring.

“For all of us on council, it was critical (to say) social well-being and social connection is something we have been missing,” Potter said.

The letter further asks for restrictions to be specific to regions rather than the whole province.

The letter also suggests using contact tracing to determine transmission origins and restrict only businesses that have violated health rules, she said.

She credited Sexsmith residents with generally following the rules.

Potter said she is “hopeful” the letter can make a difference, citing “a good working relationship” with Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Travis Toews and neighbouring MLAs Tracy Allard and Todd Loewen.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News