Retailers Want Lockdown Lifted

A letter sent by a group of about 50 retailers calls on the Ontario government to open all stores across the province. The letter says that lockdowns in Toronto and Peel Region have not reduced the number of people shopping, but instead has increased the density of shoppers in stores deemed essential. It has been signed by executives from major retailers, including Hudson's Bay Company, Canadian Tire, IKEA Canada, Roots, and Staples Canada. The letter notes that other provinces have taken similar steps in conjunction with public health officials and that these steps "will put fewer people in more stores, increasing safety for all. The current policy does the opposite." Alexandra Hilkene, press secretary to the deputy premier and minister of health, says, “as we have seen around the world, lockdowns are a difficult but necessary step to stop the spread, safeguard the key services we rely on, and protect our health system capacity." She says the Ontario government is providing $600 million in relief for eligible businesses required to close or significantly restrict services due to enhanced public health measures.