(May 5, 2021) – We, the Alberta Hospitality Association (AHA), are extremely disappointed and frustrated that yet again restrictions have been announced without any discussions or communication of a clear plan on how our affected industry will be protected to ensure the survival of businesses that are bearing the brunt of ever-changing rules, restrictions, and closures. As an organization we have maintained a commitment to work with government using open dialogue and communication to ensure the needs of the hospitality industry are met. The latest lockdown shows a complete disregard to those efforts.

In response to the May 4 Alberta Government press conference and new restriction announcements AHA asks the government to properly step up and provide the following to protect the hospitality industry:

  1. Full retroactive energy and utility abatement (as executed in Ontario for all small businesses) for all periods of Government-mandated closure
  2. Full provincial top-up on wage subsidy to protect jobs and economy (as executed in Quebec)
  3. Full compensation for sunk costs of patios (and for food mentioned at in-dining closure date)
  4. Full retroactive property tax abatement (city and provincial)
  5. Further added financial support throughout all closures 

In addition to the above mentioned, AHA insists the Alberta Government and AHS better engage with stakeholders to clearly define the path to recovery.  The hospitality Industry needs operational clarity in order to survive and return to profitability. Hospitality operators and the general public need well defined answers to the following questions in reference to the Government’s Path To Recovery (*included in appendix 1) :

  • What are the gaugable metrics as defined in Stage One?
  • What is Alberta Health’s definition of per cent immunization? Is it individuals with a single dose of the vaccine and/or individuals who have previously been infected and recovered from COVID 19 with antibodies as stated previously, or has the definition shifted?
  • Can the Alberta Government better define “no restrictions” as stated in Stage Two? Hospitality operators cannot properly forecast future operations without detailed clarity on this matter. 
  • What is the Alberta Government’s plan if there is lower engagement and a slower action in receiving the second vaccine or the province does not hit target immunity levels to move into Stage Two and Three in the Path To Recovery?

Answers and actions are imperative to the survival of many businesses throughout the province. Businesses that are neighbours, friends, and community leaders. 

Regards,

The Alberta Hospitality Association Board of Directors