All eyes will be on Premier Jason Kenny tonight when he starts to roll out a long-term model of what could possibly occur within the next few weeks and months in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The steps forward have been a moving target for municipal officials and will be so for some time, believes Mayor Jeff Genung.

"What I'm hearing from the government is the peak of the curve is still four to five weeks away," says Genung. "And that's just the peak. There's going to be a ramp down after that."

The communication lines have been kept open between the provincial government and municipal officials. Genung has been part of several conference calls currently held every seven to 10 days.

"The moving target we are continually having to adjust to is what the province is telling we can and cannot do."

To this point, the town has not declared a state of emergency. Genung says when the province declared a health emergency it negated the need for such action.

The town has activated its municipal emergency management plan to allow officials to take proactive measures to help protect the community and town staff, and to coordinate responses and communications.

Whether that will change following today's proposed amendment Alberta Emergency Management Act is to be seen.

The government says the amendments are intended to better coordinate the response between the province and its municipalities.

Proposed amendments to the Emergency Management Act include:

  • Allowing states of local emergency to last for 90 days.
  • Providing clear language that it is an offence to be non-compliant with orders made under states of local or provincial emergency.
  • Clarifying that the minister has the power to modify a state of emergency without terminating it.
  • Clarifying that a provincially declared state of emergency can be for a pandemic in general, and not just for pandemic influenza.