Normal may not be coming back for a while

I woke up this morning and saw this thread on Twitter:

Essentially, the argument goes is that what life was like pre-COVID-19 is never coming back. Governments around the world are banking on a vaccine roll out to be completed by the end of this year at the most extreme timeline. Based on current trends I find that to be dubious at best. However, it is still highly inconsistent on a global level.

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If this isn’t a sign of a shift in the economy, I don’t know what is

The first day of President Joe Biden’s term saw the cancellation of the Keystone pipeline. Immediately here in Canada, Conservative politicians were aghast and eager to point blame. I wrote about this here. Then things got worse for them.

Last week, GM announced a landmark decision that they would shift their entire fleet to electric by 2035. In Europe, Volvo has pledged to produce only electric cars. As well Volkswagen, in an effort to put Dieselgate behind them has put forward their ID line of vehicles to rebrand themselves as environmentally friendly once again. In fact just about every major automobile manufacturer in the world is producing an electric model and putting brand power behind it. All except for Chrysler, but we’ll discuss that another time.

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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.

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What the Toronto BBQ fiasco tells us about ourselves…

The in the latter half of November, it appeared that a plague of misinformation and conspiracy fuelled anti-masking may have taken root here in Canada. By now the story of the lone restauranteur who decided to defy public health guidelines because of a google search he did gained national headlines.

However, that turned out not to be the case. The restaurants on the front lines, the ones who’s livelihoods are being threatened with bankruptcy, the ones with a lot to lose due to these restrictions, didn’t flock to his support.

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Doug, would you like some waffle with those ribs?

If you live in the GTHA, then everyone is aware of Adamson BBQ’s supposed defiant stand against COVID-19 regulations. Restauranteur Adam Skelly, posted to his Instagram his plans to defy Toronto’s lockdown order and open his restaurant for full service yesterday. His justification for defying the rules? Well it’s apparently buried in his Google search history.

Regardless, his actions drew out the crowd you’d suspect. The conspiracy driven and selfish of the GTA. The ones who don’t care about you or I? Or the loved ones we haven’t been able to see because we all have stronger fortitude to see our selves through this pandemic than they do.

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Happy weirdest Thanksgiving ever!…

Well, lets start off by saying a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family wherever you are. This one is definitely one for the history books!

Normally, we’d be packing up the kids and pets to travel to family get togethers all over the province. Not this year. I hope that you’re following public safety precautions and staying home with your immediately family. Right now it looks like it’s the safest thing to do, to keep us from going into full lockdown.

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It’s basically a basic income…basically…

413 Reasons Why: A Vision For Vibrant Cities In A Post Commuter World The 905er Podcast

Joel and Roland talk share their admiration for the Community Climate Council's webinar on Highway 413, get all misty eyed about the idea of after-work drinks in a pedestrian-friendly downtown, and then discuss a rare win for the City of Burlington at LPAT – why it was a win, and whether it will stay a win. Spoiler alert – probably not. Finally they discuss Halton Region's unanimous request to the Province and whether, for once, the Region is actually making a fair point. Thanks to those who help us put this together: Thanks to our founding patrons! You can join them at https://www.patreon.com/the905er. Supporting the 905er with a monthly donation enables us to do this podcast, to make it better and better, and to make sure it reflects your priorities. Please consider joining our growing team. The Quadrafonics: fantastic opening and closing tunes! Don't forget to check out 905er.ca every so often, even if you get the podcast delivered to your automatically. We try to post additional news and stories there when we can, and welcome submissions and ideas for additional content.  
  1. 413 Reasons Why: A Vision For Vibrant Cities In A Post Commuter World
  2. How Green Is My Greenbelt?
  3. Racism in Our Schools (Part 2) – Students Speak Up YCDSB and Hamilton Students For Justice
  4. Racism in Our Schools (Part 1) – Students Speak Up YCDSB and Hamilton Students For Justice
  5. Cindy Cosentino – Who Wins from School Boards Employing Non-Teachers as Directors of Education?

I missed the chance to promote the latest episode of The 905er yesterday. I got busy, my bad. This week we were talking about Hamilton’s basic income experiment, the previous provincial Liberal government instituted. It’s a great discussion on what actually happens under a universal basic income to those who are on it. I highly recommend you listen to it, as it’s more than relevant these days with the federal CERB program winding down.

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Now is a good time to plan for the future

This huge news for the Ford Assembly plant in Oakville. If this deal goes through it would mean a lot for the auto industry here in Canada. The trend over the last five years or so, has been for the major automakers to dive into the electric vehicle market. Currently, every major vehicle manufacturer has an electric vehicle planned for the market in the next few years. Car company Tesla has taken the market by storm. Sparking would be competitors such as Rivian or Bollinger Motors. It’s becoming clear that electric vehicles is not a fad or trend, but the future of the auto industry.

Which is one of the reasons why the Ford announcement is so curious. Any casual observer of the industry can see the future is electric. Yet the provincial government has been reluctant to encourage the development of the market in Ontario. The belief that green initiatives are not worth the energy so to speak is prevalent in the current government.

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Is this a path forward for restaurants?

This is a terrific opinion piece in the New York Times today. As many long time readers of my site know, I’m very passionate about the survival of the hospitality sector. However, I am also a realist. I don’t believe there is a return to the way things were in the past.

The pandemic is forcing our restauranteurs to innovate and find new models for success. This column in the Times I think shows a path forward. Some of the circumstances are different from here in Canada. However, one of the good things is that the help that will be needed to facilitate the transition is mostly still in place here in Canada. Wage subsidy, rent relief and financial help for people are a part of our lives now in Canada. If we play this right, the industry just might survive.

A woman prepares a cake in a restaurant kitchen

How to Save Restaurants

By Priya Krishna of the New York Times

Small things can add up quickly

Summer is coming to an end. Patios were often filled with families and friends enjoying the great weather we had. If you strolled by parks, you’d hear the laughter of kids playing and running. That first take of the situation would lead one to be convinced that we’d indeed surpassed the pandemic. We had adjusted our lifestyle and beaten COVID-19.

What if I told you that was a lie? Things are not okay. By many accounts they won’t get any better any time soon. The weather is about to get colder. In Canada we know what that means, we tend to retreat indoors seeking warmth and fellowship. In the age of COVID-19 though, that is a recipe for disaster. Patios are going to be shut down soon, schools are starting up, and we haven’t seemed to make any adjustments for what life will look like this fall.

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