By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Chatham-Kent council has opted to not bother Doug Ford about ending COVID-19 lockdowns in Ontario.
Council turned down a motion from West Kent Coun. Mark Authier last week to send the Ontario Premier an official letter about stopping the practice.
“I know COVID is real,” Authier told fellow councillors, adding he’s had friends and family members contract the virus.
“But lockdowns are hurting small businesses.”
Authier pointed out small business has been in lockdown for more than half of 2021, and economic losses are mounting.
People are losing their jobs, businesses and sometime residences, he said.
While some government help available, along with tax breaks from the municipality, Authier said many new businesses don’t qualify for assistance.
Chatham Coun. Mike Bondy said he also disagrees with a province-wide lockdown, saying it should be a regional issue.
He said the practice doesn’t make sense, especially for municipalities such as Chatham-Kent, which have low COVID-19 numbers.
Many aspects of the lockdown orders don’t add up, the councillor explained.
“Small restaurants can’t be open but Wal-Mart can,” Bondy noted. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Although council turned down the letter to Ford about lockdowns, elected officials approved a letter asking the premier to funnel more dollars towards businesses closed by the lockdown.
Council also asked that more funds be allocated mental health supports.