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Local business owner bends province’s ear on reopenings

A Grande Prairie business owner believes her pleas may have caught the ear of the province’s top doctor. Heather Fedorick of TRAPPED Entertainment was part of a telephone town hall for business owners on Wednesday with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

Fedorick says when she got the chance to ask her question, she wanted to know why a business like her escape game room would open so late in the process. She says has minimal traffic flow issues, and even fewer face to face staff and patron encounters.

“They want me to open in stage four; that’s less than 150 people in this province in the hospital before we open,” she says. “I would be super impressed if that happens even [as early] as the summer.”

She adds, because she is technically indoor entertainment, she is in the same category as tradeshows and indoor concerts. Fedorick wonders if the government couldn’t rejig reopenings under a criteria model, rather than lumping businesses together in large categories.

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“Instead of saying, ‘right now this is the criteria you need to keep people safe, and if you can meet these criteria, be it by appointment only, or one household only,'” she explains. “Whatever that may look like, list that criteria, and if they can meet that, they can open.”

Fedorick says she understands there is no way the province could effectively access every business to see if they can meet criteria, but she feels like it would be worth looking at the process.

“I listened to them both repeatedly explain what they’re trying to do, limiting close contacts at a household, limiting shared physical space and traffic flow.”

She adds after laying out her question, Dr. Hinshaw expressed an interest in knowing more.

“She gave me a couple of emails and said to contact them with my information, and they would respond back to me.”

Fedorick is hopeful that she will create some traction with the province on the idea. In the meantime, she says she plans to speak to members Grande Prairie city council about the issue as part of the February 8th meeting.

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