Loading articles...

Premier Kenney believes Calgary Stampede will happen this summer

Calgary Stampede volunteer Jessica Rooney, left, cooks pancakes during a drive-thru pancake breakfast as people try to enjoy the Calgary Stampede even though it has been cancelled in Calgary, Saturday, July 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY (CityNews) — Premier Jason Kenney says he’s feeling optimistic about the prospect of Albertans having a “back to normal” summer.

In a press conference on Saturday, Kenney said he expects many of the current public-health restrictions will be lifted in the next two months.

That means outdoor events like the Calgary Stampede would be a go, the premier predicts.

“Once the vaccines catch up to the variants, we absolutely can get back to normal this summer,” said Kenney. “We anticipate that we can get to something like 70 per cent protection of the population, either through first and second doses and/or immunity acquired through natural infection by the end of June.

“I believe we’re going to have a Calgary Stampede. We’re going to have outdoor events. We’re going to have most of these restrictions lifted gradually through May and June.”

In order to make that happen, the Alberta premier says it’s important to beat the current spike in COVID-19 cases.

On Friday, the province identified 1,521 new infections of the coronavirus — 674 of those were the B.1.1.7 variant.

There are currently 13,059 total active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.