We need COVID Passports

Canada is finally turning the corner on COVID-19. At last estimate we will have 66 million doses stocked in this country. We have enough to vaccinate our entire eligible population in this country. Furthermore we have an appetite for those vaccines. Canadians were proud to find out this week, that we surpassed the United States in vaccination rates. The majority of us are eager for these shots and have lined up or are lining up right now to get them.

I want to emphasise my wording above. The majority of us. Because that is a major distinction we need to look at going forward. The cases we are seeing of COVID-19 in Canada are predominantly amongst the unvaccinated. Vaccine hesitancy still exists in this country and it’s getting to the point where it is holding us back.

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The Light at the End of the COVID Tunnel isn’t What it Seems…

It looks like we are turning the tide on the pandemic. Vaccination rates are climbing in this country. We are first for first doses in developed nations of the world. Second doses are starting to catch up.

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In this second wave what’s essential?

A list of FAQ’s from the Premier’s office on the Stay at Home Order

So here we are in the midst of another stay at home order from the provincial government. Apparently our numbers warrant this drastic action. So be it.

There are differences from the previous lockdown we had roughly this time last year. The first time we went into lockdown, the government issued a definitive list of what and what was not essential services. What businesses could justify staying open.

If you look above, this time it’s more of a wish washy, if you feel you’re essential then you’re essential attitude. Why this murky grey zone? The provincial conservative government, is returning to a tried and true tropism of conservatism. The rural parts of the province are so different and unique from those effete liberal elites in Toronto.

Only, I can’t for the life of me see what is so uniquely essential for Timmins that isn’t essential for Toronto. Or vice versa. In fact would that be a great litmus test to determine what is truly essential or not? What can you not live without in Toronto and Timmins? Grocery stores, hardware and building supply stores, pharmacies, gas stations etc would clearly make the list. Restaurants would be included in that list as well. Outside of that, what else would be considered essential to live?

Of course, since we are in lockdown all services would be restricted to curbside pick up, or take out. But we’ve all been doing that for so long it’s not anything shocking by now. By not putting definitions in their orders, we’re just leaving everything open to interpretation. And isn’t that how we got into this predicament in the first place?

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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The 905er talks wine in Niagara

The 905 Round Up – Vaccine Passports are finally here, and what the Election results tell us about Hamilton The 905er Podcast

Vaccine Passports are finally being unveiled in Ontario.  However, after being requested by public health for the summer, the rollout has been typical of the Ontario PC government.  It's messy and uncoordinated.  However, they are here now and what does that mean for avoiding a possible fourth lockdown in the 905?  And is it about time for the vaccinated to stand their ground and say enough is enough with anti-vax and anti-mask protestors? As well, Roland and Joel look at some of the numbers from election night in Hamilton, and wonder what does it say about Hamilton's problems with racism?     It takes money and time to create two podcasts a week. We love doing what we do, but please consider supporting us if you can so we can keep improving, and keep paying the bills. Why not buy us a coffee? Or you can support us by becoming a patron for a month, for six months, or forever. See https://www.patreon.com/the905er. Thanks to our existing 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. Nicholas Paul: sound editing. The Quadrafonics: fantastic opening and closing tunes! Don’t forget to check out 905er.ca, even if you get the podcast delivered to you automatically. We post additional news and stories there when we can, and welcome submissions and ideas for additional content.
  1. The 905 Round Up – Vaccine Passports are finally here, and what the Election results tell us about Hamilton
  2. 905er Election Night Special!
  3. Election 2021: Adam van Koeverden on the Liberal Party‘s Record in Government and Platform for the 905
  4. Keith Brooks of Environmental Defence Reminds Us Why Climate Change is Important This Election
  5. Thursday Roundup – Who‘s afraid of the 905er? Why won‘t CPC candidates speak about their platform?

Covid-19 has upended a lot of norms in our lives. Most impacted has been the tourism and hospitality sectors. Where business was most often conducted face to face and in more intimate and comfortable surroundings, the entire industry has been forced to throw out old business models and invent new ones.

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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

One of the great things about living in The 905

After less than 40 min in possibly the world’s longest drive thru line, you’d find yourself here.

I like to think that every community have key events that mark the calendar year. Social events that mark the beginning of one season and the start of another. Here in Burlington, the change of season with the start of summer and the end are signified by two events.

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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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The season of change is upon us.

The seasons are about change and rebirth. It is part of life that we all accept. As we enter into the fall, we begin to prepare for change once again. That change this year, is unprecedented as we continue to struggle with life with COVID-19.

For parents around the world, they are struggling to adapt to a new school environment. The school year comes with new risks to us all. Federally, the government is preparing to end many of the programs it put in place at the start of the pandemic. CERB is ending, and the CEWS is ending in December.

Criticism still abounds in the government’s response to the pandemic. Arguments exist that the supports were a failure to begin with. Destined to fail. Erin O’Toole, newly minted Conservative Party leader, has made the argument that jobs should have been prioritized over handing money to people directly.

The problem I find with these arguments is they are suited to a time prior to COVID-19. As we inch closer and closer to the inevitable second wave, it is becoming apparent that consumer confidence isn’t there. The restaurant industry is still facing significant closures, and this week the CNE expressed concerns it’s not going to be able to survive after this year.

New thinking is required to get us through this pandemic. The programs the federal government put in place, were helpful to stem the tide and prevent a mass collapse of our economy. However, we have reached the stage where we need to seriously rethink how this all works. Jobs are not returning on mass to displaced workers. Major sectors of the economy are on shaky ground. Propped up by government supports.

It is apparent that the supports cannot stay forever as they exist right now. However, the economy and society cannot survive without them. Something new will be required. Whether that is a UBI, a modified EI structure or something different, it remains to be seen.

A few weeks ago, I spoke with Jason Cassis on my podcast The 905er. He’s a restauranteur in Hamilton. He’s innovating his way out of this pandemic. We need to allow folks like him to innovate our economy and way of life. Instead of struggling to preserve an old way that no longer serves us as long as COVID-19 exists.

We are a smart and industrious people. We can’t be afraid of change. Things are going to change indeed as we find a way to live through this pandemic.

In case you missed it, I’ll leave a link to the podcast below here for you to listen to.

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