Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton is hopeful that a rebound in the economy will quickly follow the lifting of almost all provincial COVID-19 restrictions on July 1st. She suggests that after nearly 16 months of uncertainty, the light at the end of the tunnel finally seems to be within touching distance.

“People are tired of being behind their screens and tired of being in their houses. They just really want to expand their circles of communication.”

Clayton says one of the most important aspects of getting the economy back up and running is simply getting people back to work as quickly as possible. She adds, at least anecdotally, it seems as if businesses across the region are ready to do their part.

“Getting people out in the community and visiting restaurants, visiting retail stores, getting back to normal. I see out in the community that many businesses are starting to hire, and the
‘for hire’ signs in the windows of shops is a great sign, and I’m really looking forward to the continued growth within our community.”

The provincial mask mandate will also be lifted on Canada Day. While the city has the option of bringing its own bylaw back, Clayton says members of city council have not had any more discussion on the matter.

The City of Grande Prairie has also announced that capacity restrictions will be lifted for live performances on Canada Day. This means events such as the Picnic in the Park and Plaza Rock will be open to full capacity without the need for registration.