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Why Is Ontario's Government Reactive Instead Of Proactive?
Ontario's Government Hasn't Made Sense For A Long Time
Remember March 13, 2020? That's the date I remember when everything went sideways. The physical school buildings were forced to close, and everyone was pretty much scared to go anywhere because we didn't know what this new virus called COVID-19 could do to us. We just knew it was highly transmissible and that our elderly population, in particular, was at great risk if they caught it, so when the government told us to stay home, that's what we did because it made sense to do that. It made sense to only go out if you absolutely needed it because it felt as though this demon called COVID lurked in every corner.
Flash forward to 2021. Ontario has gone through one lockdown and is about to have another stay-at-home order, per 680 News. Why? Basically, rather than doing one hard, fast lockdown that targets specific areas or industries, the Ford government would rather target everyone whether they are behind the increase in cases or not. In Ontario, we've heard that large distribution centres, warehouses and yes, even big box stores have been behind several big outbreaks, so what did the Ford government do in response?
Allow the big box stores to remain open, unchecked, and shuttered restaurants, small retail, and fitness facilities like gyms and dojos. A recent BlogTO article stated in no uncertain terms that we've already seen that these smaller facilities haven't been the driver of numbers, and yet, the Ford government is insistent on forcing these businesses to close in the pandemic.
Toronto, Peel, and York regions have all had the highest numbers of COVID cases throughout the pandemic, and yet, the Ford government has kept them under this "mockdown" for well over 100 days. He's wagged the finger at people, like a scolding father, for going out and doing what he's allowed people to do. Remember that under the current shutdown he allowed malls to stay open, and yet was angry people went to the mall on Easter weekend 2021. Sorry, Dad - did we forget to take the garbage out before we left?
So now, on April 7, 2021, the Ford government is expected to announce another provincewide stay-at-home order. He's finally going to restrict stores like Walmart to essential aisles only. Small retail is restricted to curbside pickup.
Yet again, salons, restaurants and fitness facilities are to remain shuttered even though they have not driven the numbers up. These facilities and small retail have bent over backwards to keep their facilities safe and once again, they are being punished because Ford isn't looking at where the numbers are highest.
Smaller regions, like Parry Sound, which have had low numbers of cases, are stuck as well because Ford won't look at who's been routinely low and who hasn't.
He's become the 800-pound gorilla that he's long since threatened to be, and he does not truly care who gets hurt in this. He's looking like the poor leader that he's routinely been throughout this pandemic and now, he's desperately trying to do damage control by punishing the whole group for the actions of key areas.
It's not fair, and it's not right.
Ford claims to listen to the people, and he has always claimed to be about the people, and he has routinely shown that this is not the case. Otherwise, he wouldn't be hurting the small businesses the way he is - not when they are not driving the numbers. He wouldn't be forcing the smaller regions to adhere to a stay-at-home order when they might have few to no cases.
Instead, this is about image. Ford knows he's got to look tougher than he has done now, and instead of taking a targeted approach to the regions and businesses that have posed issues from the start, the entire province is once again going to hang for his previous inaction. He's going to start his presser by calling us his 'friends' when nothing could be further from the truth.
The people of Ontario are tired of the back and forth. We're tired of the folksy addresses where Ford tries to seem relatable but is really just another older wealthy white guy in a suit. It's time for Ford to quit making the pandemic about politics, start cranking out the vaccines, and start shifting the blame to where it truly belongs.