After a failure to contain the spread of COVID-19, Ontario will now enter a third lockdown, and frustrations continue to grow. The GNCC calls upon all levels of government to accelerate the rate of vaccination by any means available. Delays in distribution are heavy blows to businesses going through further restrictions and lockdowns while we watch our neighbours to the south are being inoculated at a rapid and accelerating pace.
In the experience of the GNCC, businesses have overwhelmingly complied with restrictions in an effort to safeguard public health. At the same time, in addition to the vaccination delay, they have repeatedly expressed concerns about sudden shutdown decisions, especially when weeks of advance warning from public health officers was given. We require more sufficient testing and tracing capacity, data on the sources of community spread, and an improved vaccination strategy. The lack of clarity over when restrictions will be applied, what will be restricted, and a framework that has been modified and bypassed contributes to a climate of uncertainty in which it is very hard to sustain business.
Public health and a healthy economy are interdependent. We are asking the public sector to leverage the expertise, capacities and resources of businesses to support vaccination distribution, and improved testing and tracing capacities.
The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in Niagara and the second-largest Chamber of Commerce in Ontario, with 1,500 members representing 50,000 employees. More information on the GNCC is available at gncc.ca.
Mishka Balsom, CEO of GNCC
Mishka@gncc.ca or 905-684-2361