Ron Orr - MLA Ponoka-Lacombe

MLA Ron Orr: Grand reopening of Alberta an accomplishment we can all be proud of

Opinion

Thanks to the strength and sacrifice of Albertans, our province is now the only province in Canada that is fully open. This is truly the Alberta way. We do things first and we do things best. The grand reopening of Alberta is truly an accomplishment we can all be proud of.

Fully reopening on July 1 means Albertans can now enjoy everything that makes summer such a special time of the year. The days of empty baseball diamonds and soccer fields are over, and kids can finally get back to doing what they do best – having fun. The summer barbeques that gave us an opportunity to reconnect with family members, catch-up with friends and get to know our neighbors over a cold drink and AA-grade Alberta beef are back on the table. And for many Albertans, most importantly, our cherished houses of worship will be open at full capacity to provide spiritual guidance and community for their congregants.

Alberta has always been a province of leaders determined to blaze their own pathway forward. That is why we are proud to lead confederation in reopening. When Albertans reopen our restaurants for indoor dining at full capacity, Toronto will still be waiting for nearly a month until they can follow our lead. When Albertans flock to Calgary to reignite the Calgary Stampede, Montreal will still be living with a 3,500-person cap at indoor and outdoor stadiums.

Unfortunately the Ponoka Stampede could not go ahead as they had an earlier date and did not have the assurances that they could deliver the great event they usually do. But next year it will be great.

The Town of Ponoka and the Ponoka Flying Club are hosting a fly-in public event from about 10-2 on Saturday July 10 at the Ponoka airport. Hangers will be open, about 25 planes will drop in out of the sky and be on the tarmac. Come look at unique planes close up and talk flying with pilots.

And when the CFL season kicks off, the Elks and Stampeders will host capacity crowds, while British Columbia maintains a 50 per cent capacity cap on such events until at least Sept. 7.

After all the challenges our province has faced, we can be confident that the great Alberta comeback is underway. Many economic forecasts say Alberta will lead all provinces in economic growth, this year and next. Commodity prices are up and Alberta finally has a provincial government that will stand up to attempts by Ottawa and eco-radicals to landlock our oil. Jobs and investment are coming back to our province, as our government continues to work to create the most competitive environment in North America to live, work and play. I am confident we are not just on our way back to normal – we are on our way to our greatest days yet.

Albertans are the most resilient people in Canada and history has shown that we can overcome any obstacle that stands in our way. Fully reopening before any other province gives us another competitive edge to ensure Alberta’s entrepreneurs, who have always been the main drivers of our province’s economic growth and job creation, can continue making our province a magnet for ambitious, free market-oriented individuals seeking a better life.

On July 1, Alberta closed the book on COVID restrictions and stepped boldly into a return to normalcy. As former Premier Ralph Klein once said, “This is a province rich in blessings and hope. The best is yet to come.”

There are many great events open and happening throughout our constituency. I hope you will be able to attend them and enjoy your summer.

If I can be of any assistance to you, my office is open and you can reach us at 403 782 7725 or by e-mail at Lacombe.ponoka@assembly.ab.ca.