Lloydminster, the city split between two provinces, in unique spot as Sask. eases restrictions
EDMONTON -- The city divided by the Alberta-Saskatchewan border could end up being half-open for business within the next month.
Lloydminster will be in a unique situation given its position right on the border after Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced a plan to reopen his province's economy.
It will be a phased approach, starting with dentists, optometrists and other health services permitted to open on May 4.
Then on May 15, golf courses in the province will be allowed to reopen, followed by retail stores and salon services on May 19.
But because Alberta hasn't announced details of its relaunch strategy, it's put the community in an interesting spot.
"There are businesses on both sides, from salons to massage to chiropractic to doctors, the whole nine yards," said Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers. "That's why we need to take a look at this and make sure we've got it right when we move forward with it."
Because of things like professional licensing requirements that differ by province, Aalbers said city administration is working with emergency preparedness officials to develop recommendations on how the city will proceed."
He said he expects those recommendations to come forward Friday or Monday.
Alberta's top doctor was also asked about the health impacts of Saskatchewan's plan to gradually reopen the economy.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said she is in constant discussion with health officials in Saskatchewan and other provinces.
She said the approach to reopening businesses and activities will be coordinated, but noted different provinces have different rates of spread.
While Alberta's case count rose to 3,720 Thursday, Saskatchewan's was a fraction of that at 331 cases, while its population is more than one-quarter of the size of Alberta's.
"I would say that up until we had our two significant outbreaks that we're currently dealing with…our numbers were quite similar to Saskatchewan," she said.
Even though measures in Saskatchewan are being eased, Hinshaw said provinces will still need to work closely together to minimize the spread of interprovincial movement.
She also said Alberta officials are discussing the province's relaunch strategy and expect to share details soon.