End June 2021
FORD WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR HANGING BUSINESSES OUT TO DRY
Over the past week, perhaps subconsciously, I have noticed people walking into grocery and drug stores maskless, having forgotten to put on one.
Or maybe it’s because we’re living in this state of paralysis in Ontario while many states south of the border have lifted their mask mandates – if they had them – even for the unvaccinated.
This mask mandate is scheduled to be lifted July 11 in Saskatchewan and tomorrow in Alberta.
Meanwhile in Ontario, we are inching along with Premier Doug Ford crowing about what a great service he’s done us by moving the start of Stage 2 back to June 30th from July 2nd. Considering July 1st is a holiday, that’s exactly one day. BIG DEAL!
Most of us can agree that we are all so over and done with COVID-19.
I am through standing in line to buy a few groceries. Hopefully the days of being herded like a bunch of cattle waiting in one line to access 3 or 4 cashiers who are socially distanced are over.
Dan Kelly, President and CEO of Canadian Federation of Business (CFIB), mentioned the Premier and his advisors should have combined Stages 2 and 3 since Ontarians have reached the vaccination goals for Stage 3 set by Ford himself.
As of last Thursday, 76% of residents had one vaccine, 29% were fully vaccinated.
In his own roadmap to reopening , Ford said Stage 3 would occur when 75% of Ontarians had one vaccine dose and 25% were fully vaccinated.
That does not include those people who wintered south of the border and received their two doses down south and up until recently the federal government refused to acknowledge that, perhaps because they had the audacity to get vaccinated outside of Canada.
Kelly provided graphics that showed Ontario is a full month behind the last province – Manitoba, which opened indoor dining this past Saturday. If Ford sticks to the same schedule – foolishly, I believe – indoor dining won’t be a reality in Ontario until July 23, even in areas not considered hot zones.
Every hour, every day we are in lockdown, Kelly said there are more and more businesses making a decision to pack it in.
He pointed out that hair and nail salons were never closed in B.C. and Saskatchewan, noting the provincial politicians worked hard to combat COVID, while trying to keep the economy growing.
They recognized that just shutting things down blindly was not going to lead to better outcomes.
Here, in Ontario, the province has shut things down and literally thrown away the key for months.
Kelly said he thinks that Ford is so skittish in part because in March 2020, he told people to go on spring break (and got tremendous push back and rightfully so, as a result).
He’s been spooked ever since looking for virtual consensus of public health officials on every decision.
He thinks Ford wants to be remembered as the premier who shut down the province for the longest time and “kept people safe”.
Quite frankly, I don’t think and hope, that will carry him to the next election. Instead he and his caucus will be remembered for taking away our freedoms and keeping us under control for an impossibly long time – while being too scared to send kids back to the classroom.
Not a good legacy!
In the process, some Ontarians have been frightened like crazy to go out for the last several months or will only go outside armed with a mask, plastic face protector and gloves like some people I have seen recently while shopping.
Kelly said it will take a lot to get people back into stores. They’ve been told by public health, it’s dangerous to buy a scarf or a pair of shoes and everything else that is non-essential.
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Sure the Government has tried to help with their CECRA and CERB programs but like everything else in life, these programs have their flaws.
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