Miller Pleased To See Businesses Starting To Open Again

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Norm Miller

Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, is pleased with yesterday’s announcement allowing some businesses to start to open.

“I have been hearing from many businesses that believe they can operate safely while respecting physical distancing and I have been sharing their stories with the province’s Jobs and Recovery Committee,” said Miller. “I believe yesterday’s announcement is a good first step towards reopening our economy safely.”

During Premier Ford’s daily news conference, the Premier along with Minister of Finance Rod Phillips and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli, announced that some outdoor activities and businesses would be able to reopen this Saturday and that starting on Tuesday, May 19, Ontario would enter Stage One of the recovery. This stage will allow more retail stores to open, some other businesses to open including vets and dog grooming, and construction to resume. Stage One will also allow hospitals to start to reschedule non-urgent surgeries and treatments and will allow in person counselling sessions to resume.

In order to support businesses and keep workers safe, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton announced an online directory for businesses looking to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) at ontario.ca/ppe. He also highlighted that more industry guidelines are available online at ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace. Minister McNaughton reminded employers that they are responsible for protecting the health and safety of workers including protecting them from infectious diseases like COVID-19. There are additional inspectors visiting businesses to educate employers and ensure workplaces are safe. If workers feel their workplace is unsafe, they can call the Health and Safety Contact Centre.

“This PPE supplier directory and the industry guidelines will help ensure businesses can operate safely. These are two things business owners have been asking for,” said Miller. “And, as the Premier emphasized yesterday, business owners who do not feel they can operate safely yet shouldn’t open.”

As of this Saturday, marinas will be able to be open for recreational boating, golf courses will be able to open while keeping clubhouses closed, gun clubs can reopen, and campgrounds and trailer parks will be able to open to customers with full season contracts. As well, the province has lifted fire restrictions as of Saturday morning.  These openings follow the opening of provincial parks for day use only and garden centres.

“I have been advocating for businesses, especially seasonal businesses, that have a plan to ensure physical distancing to be able to open,” said Miller. “These changes will help these businesses survive and will give people more activities to enjoy during this, the Victoria Day Weekend.”

As with all decisions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the decisions regarding opening the economy are made based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the health and safety of Ontarians as the first priority.

“This certainly won’t be a typical long weekend but I wish everyone a happy Victoria Day weekend,” said Miller. “Please continue to maintain physical distancing, keep gatherings to five people or your immediate household, limit your trips out around the community and keep washing your hands.”

For more information about Ontario’s plan for reopening the economy visit ontario.ca/reopen.

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