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A tale of three provinces: Comparing plans to reopen the Prairie economies amid COVID-19

REGINA — Monday marks the beginning of plans to reopen economies in several Canadian provinces.

Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta have all released versions of plans to gradually reopen and restart their economies.

Here’s a look at how plans to reopen in the Prairies compare and differ.


The province released an updated version of its , including new guidelines for retail stores and golf courses.

The first phase of the plan, scheduled to come into effect Monday, allows restricted medical services like dentists, chiropractors and optometrists to open for service again. These businesses will be required to follow strict guidelines, including screening clients and service providers and using gloves and face masks.

Saskatchewan’s plan includes :

  • Phase one: May 4 – Restricted medical services, golf courses, parks
  • Phase two: May 19 – Retail and personal care services
  • Phase three: Date TBA – Restaurants, food services, gyms, increase size of public and private gatherings to 15
  • Phase four: Date TBA – Indoor and outdoor recreation
  • Phase five: Date TBA – Lifting long-term restrictions

The province says the Reopen Saskatchewan Plan will be delayed in areas that are experiencing a significant number of new cases, like La Loche and Lloydminster.

Premier Scott Moe said certain measures – like mandatory self-isolation after international travel and restricting visitations to long-term care facilities – will remain in place throughout the plan.


Last Wednesday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister released his multiphase plan to .

Pallister calls the reopening plan "Restoring Safe Services: Manitoba’s Pandemic Recovery Roadmap." The timing of each phase is subject to change, based on the advice of medical experts.

Phase one: May 4 – Non-urgent surgery, diagnostic procedures, therapeutic, medical services, retail businesses, restaurant patio or walk-up services, hair salons, museums, galleries, libraries, seasonal day camps, outdoor recreation and campgrounds

Many of these businesses will to follow for the safety of the public.

“Depending on the results of this next phase we will consider increasing the size of gatherings as early as mid-May. But based on public health advice we shouldn’t expect in the foreseeable future to see large gatherings, events like concerts or festivals, that will not be realistic for some time,” Pallister said.

The City of Winnipeg said all city-owned and operated recreation centres, pools, arenas, and libraries will remain closed until further notice. It is looking at options to reopen libraries, though no date has been set yet.

With the province saying only restaurant patios will be allowed to reopen on Monday, the city said for the restaurants that want to set up temporary patio spaces.


Alberta Premier Jason Kenney plans to relaunch the economy by phasing in some elective surgeries and provincial park access.

If all goes well, the government says it will reopen some retail stores, barber shops and salons, museums, art galleries and daycares as early as May 14.

  • Phase one: May 4 – Parks, surgeries, retail and restaurants
  • Phase two and three: TBA – Potentially schools, more surgeries, personal services, eventually mass gatherings

Phase two of the strategy in Alberta will see the potential reopening of schools with restrictions, though Kenney said students would not go back to class for the remainder of this school year. He said classes for the next school year could begin earlier to make up for lost time.

Additional surgeries and personal services like tanning salons, esthetics, skin and body treatments, manicures and pedicures, massage and reflexology will also be reintroduced in the second phase. It also includes the reopening of movie theatres with restrictions and some larger gatherings.

Phase three — dependent on the success of the second phase and other health factors — will reopen all businesses and services, larger gatherings including festivals, recreational facilities, nightclubs, arenas and conferences with restrictions in place.

With files from CTV News Winnipeg‘s Kayla Rosen, Danton Unger and CTV News Edmonton‘s Jeff Lawrence.

by on Scribd

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