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Hundreds protest coronavirus lockdowns at Alberta Legislature

Organizers say if the restrictions last too long the damage to the economy will also become a threat to Canadians.

Over 200 people attended a protest at the Alberta Legislature demanding that the government relax public health orders.

The members of End the Lockdown Alberta were demanding that restrictions around businesses, schools and public gatherings start to be relaxed sooner rather than later.

End the Lockdown spokesman Michael Banner said that the protest went better than expected.

“I never expected this many people to show up initially. It was [planned as] more of a — we need to balance this with our freedom of speech, to get the economy going,” Banner told Global News.

Over a dozen officers were present at the protest.

While the protest violated public health orders, End the Lockdown Alberta says no one was fined or arrested.

Banner added that if the restrictions last too long the damage to the economy will also become a threat to Canadians.

“Now is a great time to say, ‘Okay, how can we help the other side, the other risks?’” he said.

“Which is our economy being cramped out, fatalities from people in poverty, infant mortality rates, suicides.”

Alberta has had more success combatting the coronavirus compared to other larger provinces, with fewer fatalities and one of the highest rates of testing in the world.

According to the government, Alberta has the lowest rate of coronavirus-related hospitalization of the larger provinces in Canada.

On Thursday Kenney announced the province’s relaunch strategy. On May 1 boat launches will be permitted, as well as vehicle access to provincial parks.

The first stage of reopening Alberta’s economy could start as early as May 14th. Museums, postsecondary institutions and some retail stores will be allowed to open.

The opening of daycares, schools and large public gatherings will be announced at a later date.

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