Are we ready for the fall?

This came across my feed. I think there is a bit of truth to it:

To clarify, I don’t think there is a conspiracy to undermine the hospitality and retail sectors. However, I do think we aren’t looking at the entire picture.

As the economy reopens we see cases increase across the country. Despite many numerous rules and guidelines being issued by authorities, human behavior is notoriously difficult to change. Old habits die hard as they say. For proof see here:

The above was taken this week at Cause and Effect, a restaurant in Hamilton ON. A patron was reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. The story is here.

As well, I wrote earlier in the week about how the jobs returning is not keeping pace with the jobs we lost due to the pandemic. Many of the financial supports which were introduced at the start are scheduled to end in October. It’s clear that as we reopen, our cases are going to rise. Which raises new questions that no one has be answering.

What measures are we putting in place to shift to a new economy that focuses on social distancing? Should case numbers start to spike during the second wave that is predicted, are we capable of returning to lockdown? Are our current financial supports needing to become more permanent? If they are, then how are we to pay for them?

These are complicated questions, and I do not know the answers. However, I do think they need to be asked and seriously contemplated. While it’s terrific to be able to get out of the house and enjoy the summer, I fear we are squandering this time to reconsider some fundamental truths of our society and economy. If the fall hits and no plan is in place to handle a second wave, we may be left even more exposed and vulnerable than we were in March. If that happens, then all the sacrifices we have made as Canadians to date will have been in vain.

The urgency for action remains…

Coming off my post from yesterday, the urgency of needing action from government to protect restaurants and small business hasn’t abated.

I wanted to follow up on what our levels of government have done to protect small busnesses from going under due to rent obligations. I remember that Prime Minister Trudeau had mentioned funding in the form of Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance or CERCA.

However to date, no funds have flowed to small businesses. The hiccup appears to be in navigating the responsibilities of provincial duties over contracts and tenancies. So far the only province to institute any protection for commercial tenants is New Brunswick.

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