Tribe restaurant owner Paul Harris, right, consults with manager Brandon Bouchard about how to proceed under pandemic rules that make it hard for eateries to be profitable. (Contributed photo)

Tribe restaurant owner Paul Harris, right, consults with manager Brandon Bouchard about how to proceed under pandemic rules that make it hard for eateries to be profitable. (Contributed photo)

New pandemic rules deemed workable for Red Deer retailers

Stricter COVID-19 reduction measures introduced in lead-up to Christmas

As a Red Deer retailer who fears a second lockdown, Paul Harris welcomes the stricter COVID-19 control measures announced by Premier Jason Kenney.

The former city councillor, who owns both the Sunworks gift store and Tribe restaurant in downtown Red Deer, feels most retailers can work with the new rules about keeping patron numbers down.

“For us, it’s a matter of adapting,” said Harris.

Besides offering more online options, his store is opening earlier and closing later to give customers more varied shopping hours and prevent outside lineups.

Harris is also offering personal shopping — which means he’s opening the store during hours when it’s officially closed.

While more restrictions during the Christmas shopping season is rough, Harris believes the inconvenience will be worthwhile if the pandemic curve can be flattened and a second lockdown is prevented.

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce CEO Rick More is encouraged a complete lockdown was not invoked in Alberta.

He believes it would have been “devastating to the businesses who have survived the last eight months.”

While this remains the only Canadian province without a mandatory mask mandate, the City of Red Deer’s bylaw requiring face coverings in indoor public places officially starts Monday.

More said, “We can argue about the loss of liberties all day long, but let’s also recognize the liberty our businesses require to provide a livelihood for their own families and those they employ…

“Clearly, there’s a delicate balance to be struck that limits the spread, protects those who are compromised, and recognizes the impact restrictions have on families and mental health.”

Harris also supports masks.

But he remains concerned bars and eateries won’t make a lot of revenue this Christmas season. Although Kenney imposed few new rules for restaurants, most are still running with fewer, distanced tables and a reduction in customers.

Family cohorts are limited to six people and people who live alone can’t eat out with more than a couple of others from different households.

Harris said he intends to shut Tribe in the short term for renovations and it might have to reopen with reduced staffing.

The NDP opposition is accusing Kenney of picking through chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s pandemic recommendations and ignoring certain ones to appease his party’s anti-masking members.

Ponoka family physician Dr. Greg Sawisky fears there will be health repercussions.

Sawisky believes the Alberta government should have invoked a short-term “circuit-breaker” lockdown several weeks ago, before cases really began spiking.

Now, he fears it’s a case of too little, too late.

The doctor believes Kenney’s announcement offered little to reduce viral transmissions in the province.

“I know people are hurting, there’s concern about businesses, (but) I’m worried there are enough loop holes” that viral spread will not be slowed.

Sawisky believes the premier “skirted his responsibility” by not invoking provincewide masking rules for indoor public spaces.

Studies have proven that face coverings can be an effective barrier to reduce the rate of viral transmissions.

While Kenney blamed casual indoor social gatherings for fuelling the pandemic spread, the medical community has pointed out some 80 per cent of recent COVID-19 cases can’t be traced, since they were spread by people without symptoms.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Town of Ponoka and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) have ratified a new agreement, averting a strike. (File photo from Facebook)
Alberta gov’t ‘using pandemic as shield to lay off workers,’ says AUPE

The Government of Alberta’s “attacks on workers” is continuing with a new… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP, EMS, Search and Rescue, STARS air ambulance and Alstrom Helicopters worked together to rescue a fallen ice climber Friday. (Photo contributed by Rocky Mountain House RCMP)
Rocky Mountain House RCMP help rescue fallen ice climber

Rocky Mountain RCMP helped assist a fallen ice climber Friday afternoon. At… Continue reading

Students Association of Red Deer College president Brittany Lausen says she’s pleased the college is offering students a choice to attend class in-person or remotely. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Red Deer College winter term enrolment dips

Enrolment down about six per cent but mix of online and in-person instruction is going over well

Brett Salomons, of Salomons Commercial, and Mark Jones, CEO of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, in the CACAC's new temporary home. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre’s One Day Challenge returns

Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre has announced its One Day Challenge is… Continue reading

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Body of worker whose bulldozer fell through ice on inactive tailings pond recovered

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Oilpatch giant Suncor says the body of a… Continue reading

A restaurant manager in Orlando used a sign to secretly ask an 11-year-old boy if he needs help from his family after they were spotted withholding food from him. (Photo courtesy Orlando Police Department)
WATCH: Restaurant manager uses secret note to ‘rescue’ child, says Orlando Police

The manager of an Orlando restaurant is receiving praise from police after… Continue reading

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will cripple struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

VICTORIA — A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Quebec and Ontario, the two provinces hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic,… Continue reading

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. A young snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged mountain trail on Vancouver's north shore Thursday has died. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Snowshoer dies after overnight search on Vancouver-area mountain: RCMP

SQUAMISH, B.C. — A snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged… Continue reading

nunavut
‘It was joyous:’ Sun returns to some Nunavut communities for first time in weeks

IQALUIT — A sliver of orange rose over Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, earlier… Continue reading

People take photos through the extensive security surrounding the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, ahead of the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Susan Walsh
Less pomp, very different circumstances as D.C. prepares to inaugurate Biden, Harris

WASHINGTON — Some pomp. Very different circumstances. Inauguration day is supposed to… Continue reading

Winnipeg Jets' Nathan Beaulieu (88) and Nikolaj Ehlers (27) defend against Jansen Harkins (12) during scrimmage at their NHL training camp practice in Winnipeg, Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Winnipeg Jets cancel practice due to possible COVID-19 exposure

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have cancelled their practice today due to… Continue reading

Most Read