A Few Days After Treating CERB Recipients As A Joke, Ontario Government Further Cripples Small Businesses

“We’re all in this together!”

Recently, the Ontario government made a mockery of CERB recipients by treating the idea of MPPs cutting their pay to the CERB as a joke and punishment with which to ridicule Independent MPP Roman Baber.

As I wrote, by doing so they revealed something very ugly about their true attitudes:

“They tell us “we’re all in this together,” and then laugh and mock that claim the second they are asked to make it into reality.

What it shows is that most politicians never believed it.

It was just a slogan they could use in the moment, and would never be allowed to interfere with their privileged position.”

Now, as if that wasn’t enough, the Ontario government is once again crippling small businesses and hurting workers, which will force more people to depend on the same government benefits Ontario MPPs recently mocked.

Ontario is extending lockdowns, despite little evidence for doing so.

In response, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business released a blistering statement:

“With today’s announcement of extended lockdowns for Toronto, Peel and North Bay until at least March 8, the Ontario government has once again chosen to use small business as cannon fodder, renewing its reputation as the least small business-friendly government in the country during the pandemic.

With the extended lockdowns in Toronto and Peel, small businesses will enter their fourth straight month without the ability to serve customers in-store. As of March 8, retailers, gyms, and hair salons will have been closed to in-store customers for 105 consecutive days in Toronto and Peel. Indoor dining in Toronto will not have been allowed since October 10, 2020—149 days.

Meanwhile, despite providing zero evidence to support it is safer, the government has consistently chosen to keep Walmart and Costco open to in-store customers for the entire pandemic.

Being asked to just hang in there a little longer is an unacceptable and downright insulting response to the thousands of employers and their tens of thousands of employees whose livelihoods are on the line.

Almost every other province opened schools and businesses—or didn’t close them in the first place—while COVID-19 numbers continued to fall. In fact, Ontario businesses—particularly those in the GTA—have been locked down longer than the vast majority of jurisdictions around the world.

It is unconscionable that this government has not come up with an alternative to lockdowns, while dismissing even the most modest proposals to allow for a limited head count or by-appointment in-store service.

Ontario’s small businesses deserve better.

We call on the Ontario government to reverse course and keep its commitment to reopen small retailers immediately in Toronto, Peel and North Bay and to provide a clear plan to reopen all remaining sectors in these areas in the coming weeks.”

CFIB President Dan Kelly also shared his thoughts on Twitter:

“The absence of leadership in Ontario is absolutely breathtaking. The government has ceded all responsibility to the economic functioning of the province to unelected local heath officials who refuse even a courtesy discussion with the businesses they are bankrupting.”

“There was never a reopening planned for Toronto & Peel anyway. They were to move to grey, which keeps restaurants, salons, gyms closed to indoor sales. Only retailers were to gain 25% capacity as of Monday – now on hold to March 9. I have zero confidence that will happen.”

“Next week, small businesses in Toronto & Peel will start their 4th consecutive month of lockdown. Retailers, gyms & hair salons will have been closed to in-store customers for 106 straight days, indoor dining for 150 days. I don’t know of a longer lockdown in North America.”

For a long time, many conservative politicians in Canada, including the Ford government, talked about ‘fighting for the little guy’ and pushing back against ‘liberal elitism.’

But through their actions, the Ontario government and MPPs of all partisan stripes have shown themselves to be the out-of-touch elites, willing to mock people one day, and then turn around and further crush their hopes and dreams the next.

It is a truly disgraceful display.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube


 With more and more of the media bought off by the government, and with the government now seeking to expand their control over social media, Canada needs Independent Voices like Spencer Fernando now more than ever. If you would like to support Spencer Fernando’s writing, you can contribute at the button below: