U of A student councillor organizes protest against removal of Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program

The protest had approximately 30 individuals in attendance.

A student from the University of Alberta organized a protest against the removal of the Restrictions Exemption Program by the Albertan provincial government.

Haruun Ali, U of A student and open studies councillor on the U of A’s Students’ Council, organized a protest against the removal of the Restrictions Exemption Program in Alberta. Premier Jason Kenney announced a plan to ease public health measures in the province on February 8. In response to this announcement Ali organized a silent protest at the Alberta Legislature Building Plaza.

Haruun Ali protest

Haruun Ali, the primary organizer of the protest.

Approximately 30 individuals showed up in support of Ali’s protest. Additionally, approximately five individuals were present in counter-protest.

Ali described the removal of the Restrictions Exemption Program as a “premature” step by the provincial government.

“I organized this protest because unfortunately Jason Kenney has made poor choices, especially with how he has chosen to remove the Restriction Exemption Program — [this decision] is premature and it is not backed by science,” he said.

“I’m super disappointed with how that happened, and I said ‘we need to do something.’ We can’t keep having folks terrorize people in our downtown core, so we needed to do something.”

REP protest sign

A protester in support of the Restriction Exemptions Program in Alberta.

According to Ali, the Restrictions Exemption Program has allowed protection for students attending post-secondary institutions in the province.

“One of the biggest reasons [university students should support the program is] because it protects us,” Ali said. “With us potentially going back [on] February 28 it is really important for us to have programs that are able to protect us and support us to make sure that we feel safe on campus, and to make sure that we are actively not having issues on campus.”

Ali expressed hope for future protests and gatherings, and encouraged U of A students to show their support.

Areeha Mahal

Areeha Mahal was the 2021-22 News Editor and previously served as a Deputy Arts & Culture Editor and Deputy News Editor. Additionally, she is a second-year Biology and English student. When she’s not learning the Krebs cycle for the millionth time, Areeha enjoys stargazing, baking pies, and listening to Bob Dylan.

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