Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

A city bus outside of the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre states that face coverings are required onboard, in Calgary, on Sept. 16.

Sarah B Groot/The Globe and Mail

As an emergency alert blared across the province notifying Albertans of another round of public health restrictions, some felt a range of emotions: anger, confusion, exhaustion.

Edmonton mother Amanah Khursheed remembers looking at her husband.

“Here we go again,” she said as her phone lit up Wednesday evening.

Story continues below advertisement

The notification told her that Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency to protect the health-care system.

Does my province have COVID-19 vaccine mandates? Are public restrictions still in place? The rules across Canada

Canada vaccine tracker: How many COVID-19 doses have been administered so far?

Coronavirus tracker: How many COVID-19 cases are there in Canada and worldwide? The latest maps and charts

New restrictions – including gathering limits and a proof of vaccination program for non-essential businesses – began Thursday, as Alberta’s health system nears collapse during a fourth wave of the pandemic.

“Every few months we go into lockdown and we’re hearing false promises from our leaders,” Ms. Khursheed said in an interview.

“The whole pandemic … I don’t think, from the beginning, was managed right.”

Medical experts had warned the United Conservative government about potential for the Delta variant to spread exponentially, when Premier Jason Kenney celebrated his “Open For Summer” plan.

Since the reopening on July 1, COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased more than fivefold, with intensive care admissions reaching record highs.

Ms. Khursheed said a close friend contracted COVID-19 and was put on a ventilator.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s nerve-racking every single day when you’re sending your children to school, and then you’re hearing a close friend was in [intensive care].”

Calgarian Jake Hughes, a 28-year-old business development representative, said he’s “exhausted and demoralized” after 19 months of poor provincial leadership.

He has thought about leaving Alberta for another province.

“It’s kind of sad that we’re – I wouldn’t say the laughingstock, but look how bad Alberta is doing compared to the rest of the country,” said Mr. Hughes. “It feels like everyone prioritizes business and money over people’s lives.”

While he’s supportive of the new restrictions, Mr. Hughes said he’s worried they will affect his job stability and income, considering he works with many small businesses.

“If we just kept the restrictions going forward in the summer, where minimal interactions were allowed, we probably could have gotten through this fourth wave with a lot less of a spike,” said Mr. Hughes. “Since the beginning of this pandemic, it’s been fumble after fumble.”

Story continues below advertisement

Retiree Desmond Clark of Calgary said the array of measures announced Wednesday were confusing. And Alberta’s version of a vaccine passport system, which Mr. Kenney calls a “restriction exemption program,” is littered with contradictions.

He said it should be simple: You prove you’re vaccinated, or you’re not allowed entry. Instead, there are varied restrictions depending on an individual’s immunization status.

Mr. Clark said he has lost any respect for Mr. Kenney’s United Conservative government.

“When it comes to leadership, I’ve always been of the opinion that while I may not agree with something, I can respect the fact that something is being done,” he said.

“But when they don’t seem to be sure what the heck they want to do, you can’t think a whole lot of them.”

Edmonton grandmother Sharon Morin said the reintroduction of restrictions came as no surprise but they’re disappointing nonetheless.

Story continues below advertisement

“We didn’t take advantage of the ‘Open For Summer.’ We stay close to home. We don’t go out to restaurants. We still mask up. So it’s really frustrating when you’re put in this position because of others,” said Ms. Morin, pointing to unvaccinated Albertans and a lack of provincial leadership.

She said Mr. Kenney needs to take accountability for mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis and resign.

“There has been no leadership here at all,” she said.

With files from Fakiha Baig in Edmonton.

Health Canada authorized brand-name changes for the approved COVID-19 vaccines in Canada. Pfizer-BioNTech is now Comirnaty, Modern is SpikeVax and AstraZeneca is Vaxzevria. The internet reacted.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies