Since the start of the pandemic, we have taken your safety and the safety of our team very seriously. We are proud of the fact that none of our team has tested positive for COVID. By June 2, 2021, Letellier will have been closed by the Provincial Government for in store shopping for 177 days. This, quite simply, is devastating.
The Province of Ontario has imposed a blunt force trauma solution to COVID. Closing retail (and restaurants and gyms and personal service businesses) is a solution that is far more devastating than COVID itself. The impact on each and every one of these businesses cannot be overstated. This includes the owners, the staff, the customers, the suppliers for these businesses, the banks for these businesses, and yes, even the government as the revenues of these businesses has been forced to dry up.
Fortunately, the Federal Government has provided a number of support programs to help us including rent and wage support. The Province of Ontario and The City of Ottawa have done as close to nothing for us as is humanly possible.
We took great umbrage to the fact that during the first and second lockdowns, the Province of Ontario allowed Costco and Walmart to sell shoes, but it did not allow us to sell shoes. We thought that was morally and ethically wrong. We lobbied the government along with the CFIB and this was finally addressed in the third lockdown. Better late than never we suppose.
If people can safely buy groceries and go to pharmacies, and now, shop at garden centres and greenhouses, they can shop safely with us. Can anybody tell us what those stores are doing that we aren’t? Nothing! Closing us is irresponsible.
No-one is forcing anyone to do anything they don’t feel comfortable doing.
The Province of Ontario has argued that lockdowns are necessary as ICUs are at capacity. So. Instead of building out greater ICU capacity, they close businesses across Ontario and get the Federal government to support these businesses. Wouldn’t it be more effective to keep businesses open safely and divert all that Federal support to building out ICU capacity??? Especially since shopping can be safe.
We fundamentally do not believe in lockdowns. We believe in every business remaining open, operating safely and should COVID cases be discovered, close businesses for 14 days.
There are over 1,000 traffic fatalities in Ontario every year. But roads remain open. There are countless deaths from opioid addiction each year. But opioids remain legal. So don’t close and fund all kinds of businesses that can operate safely and instead build out a health care system that has failed us.
Stats Can itself states very clearly that “the direct impacts of COVID-19 cannot fully account for the excess deaths observed in Canada in 2020, particularly in the fall” *. They suggest that the reasons for these excess deaths included overdoses, heart disease and other ailments caused by the reduction in services provided by health care providers during COVID. Ontario even includes suicides in COVID death stats for those who commit suicide who are COVID positive.
The Province of Ontario tracks cases by source of origin. Of the roughly 500,000 cases of COVID Ontario has experienced, under 2,000 has been from a retail source. We think that is a remarkable testament to the seriousness with retailers take COVID and the environments we are providing to our customers.
None have responded to us. As a result, we have banned all sitting PC MPPs from our store as an expression of our outrage.
So, what can you do?
We have provided a link to all MPPs to express your disapproval of lockdowns. We have looked to engage with PC MPPs to discuss our concerns.
Let’s start living life again. Let’s get our employees back to work. Let’s stop unnecessary Federal support for closed businesses that ought to have been going to our health care system. Let’s get some new shoes and let’s start living life again.