A resolution from council members at Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls calls on Queen's Park to change its mind, when it comes to a province-wide shutdown.
"I don't think we're saying anything new that Queen's Park hasn't heard before, but we just want to put it in writing to support our ratepayers to ensure they're being heard," said Mayor Norbert Dufresne yesterday.
The motion was sponsored by Andrew Nisly, a member of council who also recently made the decision to close his restaurant, saying he wasn't able to make ends meet.
"Things are complex and I won't get into the nitty gritty here, but the bottom line is we cannot make ends meet under the current restrictions put in place under the Reopening Ontario Act," Nisly said in a social media post earlier this month.
It's also been a very difficult year for resort operators, as the American border has been closed.
An excerpt from the resolution says the Township of Sioux Narrows–Nestor Falls is pleading with the Province of Ontario to:
- Increase consultations with communities and small businesses in the North to find realistic ways for supporting businesses throughout the lockdown;
- Revisit blanket-provincial measures to Covid-19 response;
- Allow small businesses to remain open to in-store sales, with limited capacity and increased safety measures;
- Allow accommodation-based operators to function on a risk-based, regionally appropriate model, with increased safety measures;
- Permit construction work on a risk-based, regionally appropriate model, with increased safety measures, especially in the North, where large infrastructure related to pandemic response and health care do not comprise the majority of projects; and,
- That provincial relief funding programs be broadened to better address the needs of tourism-based, seasonally-based and sole proprietor industries.
The 28-day lockdown is set to expire February 11th. Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford is set to provide a response tomorrow, including an update on plans to restart the economy in the northwest.
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