EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to clarify that Graham is not looking to ease social distancing restrictions for other sports or activities besides golf.
Alberta golfers are trying to change the mind of Alberta’s chief medical officer of health to allow courses to open this spring.
An online petition, launched by Mark Graham, of Calgary, states Alberta golf courses should receive an exemption from mandated business closures.
As of Tuesday morning, the petition had gained close to 25,000 signatures.
Graham said the support had “exploded.”
Graham said golf courses are already set up for social distancing rules, and extra restrictions — like closed pro-shops and restaurants — would be a small price to pay, if allowed to stay open.
“There are very few activities we can do during this pandemic,” Graham wrote, “golf happens to be one that is safe and manageable.”
Dr. Deena Hinshaw addressed golfers’ concerns again during her provincial update on April 13.
Hinshaw said she knows people enjoy golf not only for their physical health, but mental well-being.
“Again, it is one of many sacrifices we are asking Albertans to make,” said Hinshaw.
“Golf has been deemed a non-essential service at this time.”
Hinshaw said the province is looking “very closely” at its numbers, and if it gets to the point where Alberta can ease restrictions, “outdoor recreation is certainly on that list of things to be considered.”
Hinshaw noted we are not yet at that point.
“That sacrifice, just like all the other sacrifices that Albertans are making, is helping us to maintain that good performance we’ve that we’ve been able to have so far.”