June 8, 2021
It is official. As of June 11, 2021, we start to re-open our economy and the Province of Ontario. It has been a long and sometimes circuitous route that we have been locked into since this pandemic began. With vaccinations being given and the low case numbers that have been seen, Ontario is set to end the “time out” and life returns to some semblance of normalcy in the next few days.
We are grateful to so many people in our community who have weathered the front lines over the past 15 months and did their best to ensure we stayed healthy and were able to go about our lives with as much normal as there could be. Our health care workers at all levels have been amazing and dedicated but the list does not stop there. From taxi drivers to grocery store cashiers, business owners and employees that have kept the lights on and doors open, hospitality sector cooks and wait staff who have provided alternatives for everyone, and the list goes on!
Of all the persons that made those sacrifices over this period, there is one group that warrants our special thanks and that is our families. This has been a very trying time for all and without the support of our entire families especially spouses, partners, parents, and children, many would have had a much more difficult time coping with what the pandemic brought home, to us all. There is no doubt that forced isolation (to some extent) has put many items into perspective and hopefully the lessons learned through this experience is that family, is the top priority. From all of us that have been working from home through out this time….Thank You!!
June 7, 2021
TIME FOR SOLUTIONS
Early last week when news of the discovery of 215 unmarked graves, at a former residential school in British Columbia surfaced, shock and disbelief is all that came to mind. The overwhelming feeling of shame as a Canadian, is just one of the many feelings that immediately came to mind. It took nearly a week to put pen to paper as I did not know what to say. Disbelief turned to outrage, shock turned to sadness and rumour became reality.
Responsibility and ownership were followed very closely, thereafter. More questions than answers right at this point, but it must stop now, and those questions must be answered, no matter how tough they are. The families of these children deserve answers and accountability.
Our government has the responsibility to the Canadian public but more so, to the Indigenous Community, to ensure that all the questions, all the answers and future solutions are done immediately and not swept aside for others to deal with. This is a black mark on our society and now is the time to stop talking about solutions and get them done. To all the families that have been affected, our thoughts are with you.
May 24, 2021
As we continue to move forward through this pandemic, we continue to see so many brighter days
ahead and so many lessons learned over the past fifteen months, since we first heard of COVID-19.
It has been easy to become an expert “arm-chair quarterback” on what we should have or might have
done however, errors made, should translate into lessons learned and not to be done again.
What have we learned? Our health care workers and first responders are all superstars, rising to
the challenges against an enemy that little was known about and doing everything they could to keep
us healthy and safe. Our retail and pharmacy workers who adapted and provided groceries,
prescriptions, and household goods to keep us fed and our homes functioning. Our restaurants and
staff have changed the way they do business and have made it easy for all, to get that break from
the lockdown blues.
Those brighter days appear to be on the horizon as more of our populations gets vaccinated and for
the time being, the COVID-19 case loads are steadily decreasing. With the new Provincial opening
framework in place, it appears that the onus will be on everyone in the Province, to get vaccinated
and ensure that our business community can and will re-open. The business community has
consistently demonstrated that it can open and operate safely while adhering to suggested Public
Health measures. It is within our control to accelerate the road to re-opening, and we hope that
all individuals consider booking their
appointments, for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Northern Ontario Chambers send letter to Premier Ford today asking for update to the recommended Responsible Business Protocol. To read the full letter click here
North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce Launches Project GoVax
A new transportation program to assist eligible North Bay residents in need of a ride to their COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
Click here to read media release.
Now more than ever, our local businesses need our help. The North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC) is launching a new campaign, asking North Bay and district residents to “Step Up for Local Business”.
The purpose of this new campaign to STEP UP for local business will be two-fold: remind people to support local business; but also reach out to our members to ask them to communicate via their social media channels and the media, how the community can continue to support them and their business.
You can also display your support by downloading and posting these graphics on your personal or business social media walls or profile photos as a show of support to the campaign and our local small businesses.
Shop Local. Eat Local. Support Local. Thank you!
COVID-19: Province Announces a State of Emergency
Today, the Government of Ontario announced a second state of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a stay-at-home order, effective Thursday, January 14 at 12:01 am.
The stay-at-home order requires everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people’s mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.
Additional public health measures include:
- Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions. This is consistent with the rules during the lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 and will allow individuals and families to enjoy time outdoors safely.
- Individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres.
- All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.
- Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.
Under the declaration of a provincial emergency, the province will provide authority to all enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the stay-at-home-order, or those not wearing a mask or face covering indoors as well as retail operators and companies who do not enforce. Those who decide not to abide by orders will be subject to set fines and/or prosecution.
In the unfortunate event that an employee becomes infected with COVID-19, they may be entitled to federally funded paid sick leave of up to $500 a week for two weeks. Workers can also access Canada’s Recovery Caregiver Benefit of up to $500 per week for up to 26 weeks if they are unable to work because they must care for their child under 12 years old or a family member who needs supervised care.
Along with the initial announcement of a Provincewide Shutdown, the province also announced the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to help small businesses. The details of the application are expected to released soon, in January, 2021.
Click HERE for more information.