CALGARY — It’s open for business, open for summer and open for Canada Day parades.
“Thank you Albertans, thanks to your diligence, we are leading Canada as the first province in Canada that is fully open,” said Premier Jason Kenney at a Canada Day celebration unlike any other.
Kenney rolled up to the southeast Calgary community of Parkland in his blue pick-up truck waving, smiling and hugging Calgarians out to celebrate the nation’s birthday as well as the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in the province.
Kenney announced that as of Thursday, 73 per cent of Albertans have received at least one jab.
The Hudson family enjoyed the parade from the roadside, thankful to be taking in events once again.
“We’re just so excited to come do something on Canada Day now that we’re open,” said Laura Hudson.
“I’ve been at home with little kids the whole time, so this is so fun.”
Josh Hudson says he’s excited to spend the day with family.
“Celebrating Canada Day and being out as a family and doing things and doing, traditions it’s just a happy time,” he said.
A few hundred people attended the event, including many UCP politicians. Tanya Fir, jobs minister Doug Schweitzer and health minister Tyler Shandro.
Before arriving at the Parkland Community Association, Shandro was verbally attacked by a group of anti-restriction protesters, with his wife and young sons present.
He says his family was left a little shaken.
“There’s some anxiety on that,” said Shandro.
“For them to hear people believing some of the misinformation about vaccines is unfortunate, and the way that it was expressed today.”
Shandro quickly shifted the focus on celebrating the province’s reopen plan.
“This is a day to focus on celebrating Stage 3, celebrating family and that’s exactly what I’m going to do today,” he said.
The City of Calgary will also be hosting fireworks with a few modifications, in light of recent recoveries of remains of indigenous children at residential school sites.
A moment of silence will be held to recognize the children who died and those who have not been recovered.
The city also says that the Calgary Tower and McMahon Stadium will light up orange to honour the unmarked graves at 10.p.m.
Events are also taking place at Eau Claire and Heritage Park.