Alberta unveils outdoor adventure prizes in new COVID-19 vaccination lottery

Skier takig a turn in deep powder on a sunny day. Gettu Images

Adults in Alberta who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-September will be eligible to win a selection of outdoor adventure prizes.

On Wednesday, the province announced a new Outdoor Adventure Vaccine Lottery.

Prizes from the lottery — which is separate from the previously announced Open for Summer Lottery — include hunting and fishing licences, Alberta Parks camping experiences, Canmore Nordic Centre ski passes, Kananaskis Conservation Passes and a special licence hunting tag for bighorn sheep, trophy pronghorn, elk or turkey.

One winner will also receive a receive a combination package consisting of a wildlife certificate and lifetime white-tailed deer and game bird licences — enabling the winner to hunt for those species for the rest of their lives without paying for a new licence each year.

A lifetime sport fishing licence is also up for grabs.

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To win any of the new prizes, you must have received both your first and second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and register for the lottery by Saturday, Sept. 11.

To date, the UCP government says 74.2 per cent of eligible Albertans have received their first dose of vaccine and 55.9 per cent are fully protected with two doses.

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Premier Jason Kenney said the new lottery, which offers “targeted and unique” prizes, is another incentive to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“The Open for Summer Lottery has moved our vaccine numbers up and these new prizes should appeal to some folks who have not yet got around to being vaccinated,” Kenney said.

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Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon said getting vaccinated is the best way to ensure that Alberta is open for summer, and encouraged all Albertans to do their part.

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“Alberta is a premier destination for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, hunting or fishing and this opportunity is one of the many ways to enjoy our beautiful backyard this summer with ease.”

Among the prizes are 10 annual Kananaskis Conservation Passes: a new $90 fee to the previously free-to-access Kananaskis Country recreation area west of Calgary.

The fee came into effect June 1, allowing people to either pay $15 for a day visit or $90 in a per-vehicle annual fee. On Wednesday, the Opposition NDP slammed the move.

“The inclusion of the K-Country passes is an insult to all Albertans and sets a bad precedent,” NDP environment critic Marlin Schmidt said in a statement.

“It isn’t a ‘prize’ if Albertans are winning something they should always have access to in the first place. Peter Lougheed would be appalled.”

“What’s next? AISH cost of living increases? A new teacher for your kids’ school? No wage rollback for the closest nurse in your family? Your own 10 square feet area of the mountains protected from coal mining?”

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To win prizes from the new Outdoor Adventure Vaccine Lottery, you must be 18 or older, reside in Alberta at the time of entry and the draw, be able to provide proof of your first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and opt into the draw on the website.

For more information on the lottery and to enter you can visit the Government of Alberta’s website.

— With files from Karen Bartko, Global News

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