Statement from Mayor Cam Guthrie on businesses and the Provincial lockdown

I am concerned with reports of businesses in our city contemplating keeping their doors open in contravention of the Provincial stay-at-home order.

I know that repeated lockdowns are incredibly difficult on businesses and their employees. I hear you. No one wants this roller coaster to end more than I do. I will continue to fight for business assistance from the federal and provincial governments, working together with Guelph’s Member of Parliament Lloyd Longfield and MPP Mike Schreiner. I have fought for businesses from day one, and I will continue to fight for you through the recovery and beyond.

When we are not all in this together, it just makes it harder – and makes it more likely that it will be even longer before we can get back to normal. We can’t be gambling with the health and safety of our fellow Guelphites.

It also doesn’t help to blame City staff. As a municipality, we don’t make all these rules – including the lockdowns – but staff have a responsibility and an obligation to implement Provincial directives and public health measures. Please don’t take your frustrations out on City staff. They have a job to do, and it’s not an easy one, especially during these times. Council is grateful for the professionalism and dedication of City employees throughout the pandemic.

I want to thank the Guelph businesses who are doing their part. You are playing a huge role in helping our city respond and recover from this emergency, and for that we are extremely grateful.

As I write this today, there are Guelphites in the ICU and on ventilators. There are families desperately worried about their sick loved ones. 37 people from our city have died from this virus, and their families are grieving. I want to remind everyone that the situation we are in is about people, not about numbers. These people are our friends, neighbours, coworkers, and family members – and we need to do everything we can to stop this devastating virus. The tough sacrifices we make today could very well save a life tomorrow.