Looks like Nenshi isn't sold on Kenney's plan. The Calgary mayor has been giving weekly updates about the current COVID-19 station in the city. During an update on Tuesday, May 5, Mayor Naheed Nenshi had tons of questions about the Alberta relaunch strategy. During his address, he was not afraid to state that his first thought was that it's “way too early” for businesses to reopen.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 5, the Calgary mayor addressed the public and the press.
During the conference, Nenshi called out the Alberta premier, Jason Kenney, for his relaunch strategy stating that there are still many questions that need to be answered.
“I’m calling on the government now to answer a number of these questions,” said Nenshi.
The first question was what are the government's targets and metrics that will be used to determine if Thursday, May 14 is a go.
According to Nenshi, in order to start a reopening, there must be two weeks of declining coronavirus cases. In Calgary there have been a couple of days of declining cases, says the mayor.
He is wondering that if the opening date would be pushed back should the city not see a decline in cases for two weeks as needed.
Once the first stage of openings occurs in the middle of May, Nenshi wants to know what happens after that.
“I have heard some sources, even within the government, imply that the next stages could come just a couple weeks later,” said the mayor.
“Let me be clear. That would be a mistake.”
He clarifies that this would be a mistake as the virus has an incubation period of 14 days.
In his eyes, this means that officials should be leaving several weeks, if not a month or more, between stages to see what is happening in order to gain evidence for future decisions.
The mayor went on to state that local businesses are confused about what they need to be doing for reopening.
There is allegedly confusion as to if the province or individuals will be making their own rules.
“We have to clear up the confusion,” said Nenshi.
Nenshi also stated there is much confusion about what the proper PPE would be for workers.
Business owners are also asking about what types of businesses are allowed to be open and what the capacity limit actually means.
"No business is required to open. It's a decision you have to make yourself. You have to decide do you think your business can work under these conditions," said the city official.
"Are you confident that you can keep your employees and your customers safe?" he asked.
Nenshi was proud of the work that a majority of Calgary residents were doing to stay safe but he has heard of some people not following the rules and acting as if things are back to normal.
He reiterated that contact sports, like soccer or football, are still not allowed. “Relaunching doesn't mean that COVID’s gone away. It doesn’t mean that the risk isn't there anymore,” said the mayor. “All it means is that there is room in the ICU for you.”
The city official followed up by saying that COVID-19 is still out there and there is a risk for some people to experience extreme symptoms.
While some things are still up in the air, Nenshi noted that what we know about a relaunch is it will bring with it more cases. But at this time, officials are willing to take the risk because “the health care system is not overwhelmed.”