Premier Ford: open now.
Retailers didn’t cause COVID-19, but have been paying the price for the past 15 months. Ontario is now the only jurisdiction with forcibly shuttered stores, not only in North America, but globally. The government’s own mantra is “open for business,” yet the reality is that Ontario is the only jurisdiction anywhere that is still shut down. We are the last to move.
The effect of these closures has been broad and pernicious, and it is high time that it is reversed.
We are now at a stage where we have passed the government’s own stated threshold for moving forward. Ontario’s health trends are vastly ahead of where they were forecasted to be when when the province’s three-step plan was introduced. And yet, thousands of retailers, particularly those within malls, remain closed.
Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has always taken issue with the complete shutdown of retail stores since they are low-risk environments for the spread of COVID-19 and the data wholly supports this. Other provinces have chosen to strike a balance between health AND economic concerns. For example, Quebec continues to see a steady decline in new cases, despite having allowed retailers to reopen months ago.
We know that it’s been a difficult road with many challenging and complex decisions for the government to make. But after 15 months of neglect – 230 days and counting – retailers want to get back to work. Not just for our store owners, but for our employees and our customers.
Retail is not the problem and it is time to move forward.
Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada
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About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest private sector employer. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. www.RetailCouncil.org