As of Monday, the province of Alberta will be headed in the opposite direction as the rest of the country, under the direction of Premier Jason Kenney.
While Quebec has instituted curfews and Ontario stay-at-home orders, Alberta has begun reopening its economy. As of this week, barbershops and the entire personal care service industry (like nail salons) can open their doors to customers. Jason Kenney closed these businesses down near the end of 2020, citing a rise in COVID-19 infections.
While infections have dropped marginally in the province, especially when compared to the lockdown states of Ontario and Quebec, it is not clear if the decrease was the only reason for Kenney's move to reopen the economy.
His political base, largely made up of anti-lockdown activists and small business owners, have been disappointed in the premier’s recent capitulation to the mainstream media’s opinion that the only solution to this pandemic is to shut down the economy.
In addition to reopening businesses, Kenney has allowed for outdoor social gatherings to resume, something that was outlawed during peak media hysteria last year.
Speaking to Albertans enjoying their first taste of freedom, they seemed united in their expectations of a rapid de-escalation of the lifestyle and business restrictions that the conservative Premier had initially put in place.