Business / Ontario / The Wedge

Ontario Begins Controlled And Limited Reopening

Another province begins to loosen regulations and prime the economy for a long return to health. Strict guidelines stay in place–the ones we have all been indoctrinated to follow.

The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects.

Phase 1 kicks-off this May 4.

Today’s announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided general recommendations on how the openings of businesses and workplaces must occur.

The government, in partnership with Ontario’s health and safety associations, has developed more than 60 guidelines in response to COVID-19.

It boggles the mind to find on its website, learn and adapt to these guidelines.

These businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.:

  • Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;
  • Lawn care and landscaping;
  • Additional essential construction projects that include:
    • shipping and logistics;
    • broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
    • any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
    • municipal projects;
    • colleges and universities;
    • child care centres;
    • schools; and
    • site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
  • Automatic and self-serve car washes;
  • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
  • Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and (this is not reopening by any measure)
  • Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed (this too is not reopening by any measure).

Ostensibly, it’s gardening, and oddities that fall under the rubric of construction and car washes. And of course an appointment to buy or lease a car.

There are no other dates or specifics for Phase 2 regarding businesses.

Ontario is still telling people to continue to stay home, practice physical distancing and only go out for essential reasons, to pick up groceries, prescriptions or to keep a medical appointment.

It is an unimpressive re-launch. The additive on “Contact Tracking” is Orwellian and of great concern in the building of a “new normal.”

On April 27, the government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts are using to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces.

The framework is long-winded with little to sink one’s teeth into; but, it is implied that even this phase could be stopped and reversed should numbers which have proven unreliable suddenly climb.

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