COVID-19: Ontario announces closure of all non-essential businesses


The province announced Monday that all businesses deemed non-essential will have to close by Tuesday evening to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants that offer delivery and takeout will be the only businesses that can stay open, according to Premier Ford.

People will be able to keep going to the grocery store, everyone will be able to access their medication, and electricity and telecommunications will not stop, Ford said. He said he did not take this decision lightly .

The LCBO may also continue to operate, according to the government. The full list of businesses that can remain open will be made public at the end of the day Tuesday.

Prime Minister Ford repeated many times during his press briefing that everyone had to stay at home and that all travelers had to stay in solitary confinement for 14 days after returning from a trip abroad.

The Premier of Ontario also dropped the idea that the resumption date, originally scheduled for April 5, would likely be extended , saying the date was not realistic .

Concerns among targeted traders

The vice-president of national affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Jasmin Guénette, is concerned about the disclosure of companies deemed non-essential.

According to him, for services like pharmacies to meet people’s needs, many businesses are needed along the supply chain.

In addition, Mr. Guénette is afraid that these measures will push some companies into bankruptcy.

According to him, the Canadian government will have to adopt much more generous measures to allow their survival, especially if the crisis continues.

Vlad Apanovitch, of the landscaping company GTA Landscaping, fears that he will have to lay off his 20 employees.

He even fears for the survival of his business if the crisis continues since it is in the spring that the majority of his income is generated. I just can’t think any further than the next few weeks, just hope we can get back to work in time to save the season , he says.

Support measures for social services

The province also announced on Monday that it is adding other measures to its cocktail of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic to financially support municipalities, food banks and homeless shelters.

Ontario has announced funding will be provided to municipalities and organizations that provide social services.

According to the province’s press release, the funding should allow recipients to continue providing essential services, hire additional staff and find ways to promote social distancing and self-isolation to ensure the safety of their customers and keep them healthy .

Funding should also allow more vulnerable people to access financial support even if they are not eligible for federal emergency assistance, funds will also be given to organizations that help disadvantaged families and First Nations.

Housing demanded for the isolation of the homeless

Gaétan Héroux, of the Ontario Coalition to Combat Poverty, says that the homeless population of Ontario finds itself in a trap , since it has fewer options to isolate itself from the disease.

He believes the government must act to make temporary housing available for the isolation of the homeless, or else many vulnerable people will die, he said.

We are talking about hotels that are empty, we have thousands of rooms that are empty, we also have buildings such as the Air Canada Center, community and recreational centers, the Toronto convention center. They say: open , pleads Mr. Héroux.

Yogi Acharya, also from the Ontario Poverty Alleviation Coalition, believes that the government must open community centers and rooms in hotels and hotels to allow the homeless to isolate themselves physically.

He also calls on governments to temporarily increase the social assistance check for the homeless to allow them to stay in isolation longer.


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