Ottawa restaurants and bars cry foul about closures in light of new provincial outbreak numbers


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At a Friday press conference, Ontario Premier Doug Ford defended his government’s decision to impose the modified Stage 2 restrictions, saying they were necessary at the time and have proven effective. But they were never intended to be long-term solutions, said Ford.

Furthermore, Martin and Shrybman complained they’ve heard nothing more about the provincial government’s promised $300 million to help pay the fixed costs of businesses that were forced to close.

“How do I get it? How do I access it?” asked Shrybman. “We don’t need help in a month. We need help today. Payroll, taxes, hydro — these expenses need to be paid.”

He said that while his almost-three-decades-old restaurant had previously flourished, it also had to weather the closure in 2019 of Elgin Street due to construction. “I’m very close to running out of money,” Shrybman said.

He cannot imagine the difficulties he and other eateries will face if the ban on indoor dining is extended.

“I am hoping that some common sense is applied,” Shrybman said. “If we get extended for another 28 days, the independents, including myself, are on a very thin ledge.”

Ford said that based on the latest evidence, he’s asked health officials to come up with a plan “to begin to ease restrictions in a way that safely allows businesses to start opening back up after the 28-day period is over.”

phum@postmedia.com

Ottawa’s COVID-19 outbreaks of between Aug. 1 and Oct. 24

Schools and daycare: 74 (39 per cent)
Long-term care and retirement homes: 63 (33 per cent)
Congregate settings: 13 (7 per cent)
Healthcare: 12 (6 per cent)
Other: 11 (6 per cent)
Gyms and sports: 9 (5 per cent)
Restaurants and Bars: 3 (2 per cent)
Grocery Retail and Service 2 (1 per cent)
Events, ceremonies and religious services 2 (1 per cent)

Total outbreaks: 189