A lockdown for Christmas…

No one wanted this. I think we can all agree on that point. Friday, I posted a piece on how the Halton mayors were chiming in on their lockdown opinions. Despite a track record of being proven wrong on their COVID-19 prognostications, they couldn’t help themselves and declared Halton unique.

The word is today, that apparently the provincial government disagrees. Or at the very least has moved on from caring what the mayors are thinking. Unlike before, this statement from Halton had zero effect on provincial planning. Apparently at 1pm today (Monday), Doug Ford will announce a lockdown for all of southern Ontario, beginning Christmas Eve at 12:01am.

At over 2,000 cases a day, for almost a straight week, it’s clear that our plan of action in this province hasn’t been working. Personally, I don’t think there was a plan to begin with. We were promised a plan for the second wave in July. To date, we haven’t seen it. Instead its just been one edict after another, and a confusing colour chart that has since been revised.

It was naive of this government to invoke restriction after restriction based on regional boundaries. Especially in the GTHA. Boundaries are based on roads here. When people are able to literally cross a street to go into a region with fewer restrictions, it’s incredibly irresponsible to assume that COVID isn’t going to go with them. Having spoken with a few folks working in retail, all can attest that indeed people from Peel and Toronto were travelling into the regions with fewer restrictions to dine and shop.

Looking back over the past four months, it’s clear that today’s decision was inevitable. It is also the result of provincial leadership, who wanted to play chicken with the pandemic. Seeing how they can preserve the business of Walmart over our lives. Scolding us for chafing at confusing rules and regulations, instead of providing real help and real support for small businesses. Ensuring that landlords didn’t fleece, good tenants, or that small business could access grants or capital to make necessary changes to their business model.

Instead we got a lot of platitudes and shoulder shrugs. A vaccine is here, but we still have a long way to go until we are out of this mess. The inactions of the provincial government have proven to be disastrous to date. Let’s hope that this lockdown can be a reset if you will. Giving the province the necessary time to plan for 2021. A new year and a new plan. One that finally puts science ahead of politics. And where our politicians start looking at how to plan to accommodate the facts.

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