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Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA among 15 UCP MLAs opposed to new restrictions

Nathan Cooper signs letter and area MLAs Jason Nixon, Devin Dreeshen do not
MVT stock Nathan Cooper
Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Nathan Cooper. File photo

DIDSBURY - Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Nathan Cooper is one of 15 UCP MLAs who have signed and issued a statement in opposition to new COVID-19 restrictions announced this week.

Issued Wednesday, April 7, the statement says the MLAs are opposed to measures taken April 6 by the Kenney government.

“After 13 painstaking months of COVID-19 public health restrictions, we do not support the additional restrictions imposed on Albertans yesterday, and will continue advocating for a transparent path forward that provides certainty to Alberta families, communities and businesses,” the statement reads.

“We believe that yesterday’s announcement to move our province backward, effectively abandoning the plan that Albertans had worked diligently over the past months to follow, is the wrong decision.”

The MLAs who signed the one-page statement said they have “heard from our constituents and they want us to defend their livelihoods and freedoms as Albertans.”

Contacted by The Albertan Wednesday, Cooper said he was not immediately available for comment but would be so on Thursday morning.

On Tuesday, the province announced that effective immediately the province is returning to Step 1 of the four-step framework for reopening.

Step 1 measures include retail services required to have a maximum customer capacity of 15 per cent, no group fitness -- high or low impact -- is allowed, outdoor physical activity is allowed with up to a maximum of 10 people, and indoor, in-person restaurant, pub, lounge and cafe service is prohibited.

The return to Step 1 is needed in response to recent increases in COVID-19 cases, said Premier Jason Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.

Other MLAs who signed the letter include Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan and Drumheller-Stettler MLA Nate Horner.

Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Jason Nixon and Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen, both Kenney cabinet ministers, did not sign it.