As we begin new emergency measures to address the rising and very frightening number of COVID cases across our province, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who is working on the front lines of the pandemic, including all members of the health care community and emergency services. You have been there for your fellow Albertans for the past 18 months, making countless personal sacrifices and dealing with considerable pressures in order to manage surges of critically ill patients. You deserve nothing less than the deepest gratitude from us all.

To date, some 2500 Albertans have lost their lives to COVID and, tragically, that number will continue to rise before we are able to bring the pandemic to an end. To the families and friends who are mourning the loss of loved ones, I wish you healing and peace.

To all those who have been following public health guidelines and recommendations as we navigate the twist and turns of this difficult time, I thank you most sincerely for your willingness to do your part, including vaccination recommendations which make our world safer for the vulnerable as well as our hardworking front line workers. I share your ardent hope that our province will soon turn the corner so that we can return to the full and vibrant community life we all need and wish for.

My hope resides in a deep belief that we are capable of remarkable things as a society. When facing difficult times, our ability to come together and our shared commitment to honouring our common humanity shines through. That spirit of caring has always ensured that vulnerable people receive the support and compassion they need, and it has profoundly shaped the quality of life we all enjoy. It is the beating heart of who we are as Albertans, and I know our compassion and tremendous strength of character will continue to carry us through the challenge we now face.

Thank you all, stay safe and please be well!

Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani AOE, B.Sc., LLD (hon)

Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

September 16, 2021