Mississauga businesses, residents can’t afford any more lockdowns, mayor says


Published January 28, 2022 at 1:12 pm

When businesses in Mississauga reopen on Monday, they must stay open for good if they’re to survive, says Mississauga’s mayor and the city’s business community.

Speaking yesterday at the City of Mississauga’s weekly virtual COVID-19 press conference, Mayor Bonnie Crombie applauded the Ontario government for gradually and cautiously reopening the economy.

She said she’s happy that restaurants, bars, gyms and theatres will reopen their doors, with capacity limits, on Monday.

“The reality is that restaurants and gyms in Mississauga have faced longer closures than anywhere else in North America and the reopening on Monday will allow many of them to begin the road to recovery,” said Crombie.

“But I really can’t stress this point enough: we have to ensure that this reopening sticks. Our small business owners simply can’t afford another lockdown. We have to keep moving forward and the best way…is doing so cautiously and gradually and continue to encourage people to get vaccinated and boosted. The last thing we want to do is to open businesses only to have to close them again.”

That’s why, Crombie added, she was happy to hear Ontario Premier Doug Ford say he’ll continue to monitor the situation closely and that dates for easing restrictions could change, depending on public health trends.

“If we need to stay at 50 per cent capacity in certain settings because the trends warrant it, please don’t hesitate to do so. This needs to be the last lockdown we see on businesses here in Mississauga. Our residents and businesses can’t afford it anymore,” she said.

Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT) president and CEO Trevor McPherson said that after “two of our most challenging, and for many MBOT members and their employees gut-wrenching years of uncertainty due to pandemic-related impacts on their operations,” their concerns must be heard now.

Mississauga Board of Trade president and CEO Trevor McPherson.

He said government decisions on closing and reopening businesses, implementing cap restrictions and related measures “have had some devastating impacts on businesses across all sectors of the economy.”

McPherson added MBOT is pleased the Ontario government has set reopening for Monday.

“We are hopeful that the plan released by the Province leading to a full reopening of the economy happens in March and that they are able to stick to it,” he said.

“Notwithstanding these developments, we are still hearing from our members that government financial supports aren’t enough, take too long to flow and lead to more businesses not being able to survive the current wave.

“As next steps, we are calling for additional investments in testing capacity and business supports to foster a sustained reopening guided by evidence and science. Government also needs to be transparent about the data behind the restrictions. Businesses need to see modelling that justifies the nature and timing of response measures and how they are successfully mitigating the virus or alleviating pressure on our overwhelmed healthcare system. If we want a robust and inclusive economic recovery, we need our government to focus on creating the right conditions to support business stability, predictability and confidence.”

In presenting an overall message this week, Crombie acknowledged that many people are tired and frustrated after two years of dealing with the pandemic.

“The last few months have been particularly difficult,” she said. “As soon as we’d thought we’d seen the worst, the arrival of the Omicron variant changed the game and we saw widespread transmission across the country and in our community. But I’m starting to feel more and more optimistic about the future.”

Crombie said reaching the 90 per cent double vaccinated mark last week in Mississauga was a significant milestone.

“Reaching this level of two-dose coverage has always been a major goal, right from the outset of the vaccine rollout,” she said. “This level of community protection is going to help keep schools open and businesses open. It’s also going to help take unnecessary pressure off our hospitals.”







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