Grande Prairie appears to be the hot spot destination for provincial ministers this weekend. The Alberta government confirmed Friday afternoon that Premier Jason Kenney will be at a grand opening celebration for the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Saturday, along with Minister of Health Jason Copping, Minister of Infrastructure Prasad Panda, and Minister of Finance and Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Travis Toews.
They will be joined by a host of other dignitaries, including Grande Prairie MLA Tracy Allard, Horse Lake First Nation Chief Ramona Horseman, and Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton, as well as Alberta Health Services and Indigenous representatives. The celebration is slated for 11 a.m. and will be livestreamed for the public.
It is also likely that Kenney will use the appearance to announce the lifting of more COVID-19 restrictions next week. It’s anticipated he’ll confirm that the province will enter Step 2 on March 1st, which includes lifting the provincial mask mandate, limits on social gatherings, and capacity limits for all venues.
Kenney had given that date as long as COVID-19 hospitalizations continued trending downward. As of February 24th there were 1,295 patients with COVID-19 in Alberta hospitals, down from 1,679 on February 8th.
The new hospital opened its doors to the public on December 4, 2021 after a decade of construction.