October 30, 2020
The Hon. Doug Ford, PC, MPP
Premier of Ontario
Dear Premier Ford:
Re: Business Openings in the Region of Peel
On October 9, 2020, you announced that Peel Region would revert back to a modified Stage 2 business opening model which has forced many businesses in our community to close operations or be restricted to only outdoor or take-out service.
The announcement gave these businesses less than twelve hours to prepare and was a complete shock given that you and others had indicated only the day before that businesses would not again be shut down.
Further on the day before the announcement, the Medical Officer of Health for Peel Region Dr. Lawrence Loh said that Peel was not in a Second Wave of COVID19 and that not one incident of COVID19 cases was attributable to a restaurant, bar, fitness centre or other indoor commercial space.
Mr. Premier to say that the business community of Peel is upset by this decision is an understatement.
However, we need to prepare now for these business re-openings and would like to offer some suggestions to you and your colleagues on a way to make this happen when the 28-day period has ended.
Prior to the expiry of the 28-day modified Stage 2, we ask the Government to consider a new standard for determining operating restrictions for business workplaces. Specifically, we ask that the provincial government leverage knowledge and learnings from the first 8 months of the pandemic, to be more precise in determining which business workplaces pose a risk. And that that risk be measured dependent upon a combination of “the place and the activity” that occurs within the establishment.
Businesses that wish to operate, must demonstrate a “Reasonable Standard of Protection” from spread of COVID-19. In fact, as a first step, the provincial government could define activities (such as COVID-compliant dining, exercise, etc.) that do meet the RSOP and forbid activities in workplaces that do not meet that standard.
In addition, should a business wish to operate under a less restriction, a provincially-approved risk assessment should be created so that that a business can make its case. Restaurant owners have told us they wish to see specific regulations established by the Province developed so they know very clearly the procedures and practices under which they can operate.
As an example, we would suggest that indoor patron capacity be established as a percentage of the gross floor area of a business, that full physical distancing for tables and chairs be established in a floor plan and that the proper use and installation of personal protective equipment (PPE) be required in these establishments. It would be very easy for the Government to enact these regulations.
The reality is that the new world means that businesses and the economy need to continue to operate in a COVID19 world with appropriate safeguards and measures in place. Prolonged shutdowns will not solve this problem.
And just yesterday, Dr. Steini Brown released COVID19 modelling which shows that a very small percentage of cases are attributable to restaurants and bars confirming the Peel Medical Officer of Health’s statement.
Mr. Premier it is imperative that Ontario allow restaurants, bars, fitness centres and other indoor facilities to open after the 28-day period is complete on November 6, 2020. These businesses will not be able to survive without an opening of their indoor facilities particularly as we move into the colder weather.
And we are calling on the six Mississauga MPPs to step up and support this call as we have seen in other regions of the Province. Our MPPs must stand with our small businesses in Mississauga and work with the Government of Ontario to ensure the re-openings take place. We expect them to communicate with you directly on this request.
Recently Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Chair of Tourism Mississauga Toni Frankfurter wrote to you expressing similar views and seeking your Government’s support for the hardest hit sectors of the economy in hospitality and tourism. We strongly encourage you to read that letter as well.
Mr. Premier all of us have suffered because of the COVID19 pandemic and we know that all orders of government have worked hard to help and support the people of Ontario and Mississauga.
But it is crucial that you show your support for business so Ontario can recover and once again be the economic engine of the nation.
President & CEO
- Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP, Mississauga-Lakeshore
- Nina Tangri, MPP, Mississauga-Streetsville
- Sheref Sabawy, MPP, Mississauga-Erin Mills
- Deepak Anand, MPP, Mississauga-Malton
- Natalia Kusendova, MPP, Mississauga-Centre
- Khalid Rasheed, MPP, Mississauga East-Cooksville