LONDON – MPPs Peggy Sattler (London West), Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) and Teresa Armstrong (London—Fanshawe) have issued a statement after London City Council’s Corporate Services Committee passed a motion Monday requesting the province provide aid to local businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions:
“Local businesses in London have done an incredible job during this pandemic to keep their customers and workers safe. We know the new COVID-19 restrictions from the Middlesex London Health Unit are essential to reduce the spread of the virus in the community, but they will also have a severe impact on local businesses doing their best to survive and to keep staff on the payroll. We need to do everything possible to save Main Street and to give business owners the support they desperately need to make it through this crisis.
We fully support the motion passed by London councillors urging the Ford government to open up the $300 million of funding that has been promised to businesses in Ontario’s hot spots. Throughout the pandemic, the government hasn’t done nearly enough to support local businesses who are facing closure through no fault of their own. We’ve already lost too many local shops, restaurants and salons, that may never return to our Main Streets. These are our friends and neighbours and we want to see them open their doors again once the pandemic is over.
Now, by encouraging Section 22 orders by local health units instead of provincial directives, the government is trying to absolve itself of any responsibility to keep local businesses afloat.
We stand alongside local representatives in urging the premier and his finance minister to listen to Londoners, and to step up with the critical support they need at this incredibly difficult time. There is no time to waste. We need urgent action to stop more businesses shutting their doors and being forced to lay off workers.”