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Student questions why restaurants and bars reopening, but venues for grad ceremonies not

Disappointment in Saskatoon over reopening priorities
WATCH: Restaurants and bars in Saskatchewan are set to reopen at half their capacity on June 8, but some are still confused why other places to celebrate -- like banquet halls -- aren’t also doing that.

Maegan Linklater spent hundreds of dollars on her “gorgeous” royal blue dress for her high school graduation.

She and her mother, Michelle, argue about how much it really cost, but they both agree it’s a shame she can’t wear it anywhere.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — University of Saskatchewan moves 2020 spring convocation online

“It’s definitely disappointing seeing this beautiful dress I picked out that I never actually get to wear and dance in and take pictures with my friends and have all these big things, like you don’t get that princess moment,” she said.

Her mother was trying to organizer her high school Bedford Road Collegiate’s graduation banquet at the Saskatoon Inn, but banquet halls aren’t included in the province’s reopening plan right now.

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That’s leaving around 100 graduates from the school, and the venue, unable to celebrate.

“I really think that is was overlooked,” said Michelle Linklater.

“I think when they put this in place — you know, restaurants and whatnot being at 50 per cent capacity — I think they forgot about the banquets … either they forgot the banquets or they really do not want the weddings and the celebrations taking place.”

It’s not just her child’s graduation Michelle is worried about. She wonders how high schoolers in smaller communities with fewer venues available will be able to celebrate, if at all.

She says the Saskatoon Inn is willing to help her out, but right now it can only allow 15 people. It has a capacity of up to 1,000.

Her daughter says for the time being it’s a virtual graduation for her and her classmates.

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“It just sucks that we’re gonna look back on our grad and only think of all these things being taken away rather than ‘Here’s your final celebration, good job, you completed this, go figure out the rest of your life, see what you can make of yourself,'” Maegan said.

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Meanwhile, on Monday, bars and restaurants are opening up at 50-per cent capacity, allowing more people in smaller spaces.

“How is it more safe for people to go to bars and not to be able to be in a banquet hall?” Michelle said.

“If this is the provisions that the government is giving, you can’t put restrictions on some organizations, ‘You can do this’ and some organizations, ‘You can do that,’ because that is discrimination.”

The Linklaters say they’d like the province to include banquets in the reopening plan, something they said they believe was simply forgotten about.

Global News reached out to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health about banquet halls like at the Saskatoon Inn reopening. No one met the request by deadline.

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