Alberta has always been a special place.
Whether it is the can-do attitude that led to the settling of the west and the elimination of the rat, the rallying together we saw after recent events like the Calgary flood and the Fort McMurray fires, or simply the friendly and down-to-earth attitude that I find all across the province. There really is no place like home.
The last few months have been tough for Albertans throughout our province. Our lives and routines have been disrupted at a level not seen for 100 years. Despite this disruption, Albertans have rallied together and, in a Herculean effort that required the adherence of millions of Albertans, flattened the curve.
It is because of this effort that Alberta is nearly ready to re-launch our economy and get hard-working Albertans back to work.
Within the next few weeks, we will begin to see the reopening of everything from daycares, to retail stores, to barber shops.
This does not mean Alberta is in the clear or that coronavirus as a threat has disappeared. As we begin to reopen Alberta, we need every Albertan to be vigilant and continue to follow the advice of the chief medical officer.
Stage 1 of our relaunch does not mean you are free to start holding gatherings, and it does not mean that we can relax the rules around physical distancing.
Our relaunch strategy is designed in such a way that we can quickly respond to evolving conditions.
This means that should we see large-scale outbreaks, we can re-impose restrictions, either regionally or across the province.
The best way to avoid this is by each and every Albertan continuing to follow social distancing restrictions. It is only through another massive effort by everyday Albertans that our relaunch will be as successful as our initial COVID-19 response.
Albertans have shown me over and over again their resiliency, their work ethic, and their willingness to look out for their neighbours.
Over the next couple of weeks, this attitude will be needed more than ever.
We will overcome this challenge, but as we head into the next steps of our relaunch strategy, the speed at which we move forward is up to you.
Roger Reid is the MLA for the Livingstone-MacLeod riding.