As we look ahead to Friday’s reopening of some retailers in Ontario, Retail Council of Canada implores the government to allow all retail to open at the same time – including those within malls.
Ontario has endured the longest lockdown in the world. Our members have absorbed unbearable financial, emotional stress, job losses and business closures, all without improving health outcomes. There is no medical evidence to support the continued lockdown of businesses. In fact, the government’s own data shows that in-store COVID-19 transmissions are almost non-existent. Despite this, new job numbers released last week by Statistics Canada show that Ontario has now lost 85,500 retail jobs in Ontario since pre-pandemic levels – 32,300 of these are from May 2021 alone.
Ontario’s health trends are encouraging and we are ahead of what was forecasted when Ontario’s three-step plan was introduced. Positivity rates are the lowest they’ve been in nine months, vaccination rates are high and hospital ICU numbers are steadily falling. And yet, too many of our retailers will remain in lockdown on June 11 when Ontario moves into Stage 1. Jurisdictions across all of North America, as well as around the world, have shown that stores can reopen safely and responsibly.
We strongly encourage the Ontario government to let all retailers reopen on June 11 at reduced capacities, including those within malls. Retailers have had no choice but to swiftly rewrite their plans throughout the past year and we are now asking the government to do the same.
Please allow us to open.
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About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest private sector employer. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. www.RetailCouncil.org