Premier Jason Kenney is expected to announce new COVID-19 restrictions in a live address to Albertans on Tuesday night.
Kenney will speak at 6 p.m. from the McDougall Centre in Calgary. You can watch his announcement live here.
The speech, expected to last about 10 minutes, will also be broadcast live on CBC television and CBC Radio One channels across Alberta. Kenney will not take any questions from the media.
Further details on the new restrictions will be provided at a Wednesday morning news conference, which is expected to involve Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and Justice Minister Kaycee Madu, according to the premier’s office.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, may also attend.
Kenney has vowed to clamp down on surging cases and pandemic rule-breakers. He told a news conference Monday that a “package of stronger public health measures” would be announced on Tuesday.
Kenney said he had hoped to avoid additional rules but a lack of compliance and surging infection rates have forced his hand.
The province has 23,608 active cases, the highest total since the pandemic began and the highest rate in Canada.
‘Albertans are ignoring the rules’
“The reason we are at this critical stage of the pandemic in Alberta — with record-high daily case counts and intensive care numbers — is precisely because, for whatever reason, too many Albertans are ignoring the rules that we have in place,” Kenney said.
Kenney said the “No More Lockdowns” rodeo — an event that saw hundreds of maskless attendees gather in Bowden, Alta., — was a disturbing example of ongoing public defiance.
RCMP told CBC News that Alberta Health Services (AHS) is leading an investigation into the rodeo and that health inspectors, not police, will decide if charges are warranted.
Not following mandatory restrictions can result in fines of $1,000 per offence and up to $100,000 through the courts. Police, health inspectors and some peace officers can issue tickets.
“That’s why we may be left with no tools left in the toolbox apart from broader, tougher restrictions.”