Coronavirus: Guelph leaders call on Ont. premier to allow more businesses to open

Coronavirus: Stage one of reopening Ontario economy beginning
WATCH: As of the Victoria Day long weekend, dozens of restrictions lifted on outdoor and seasonal activities.

All three of Guelph’s government leaders are asking Ontario Premier Doug Ford to allow more businesses to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie along with MP Lloyd Longfield and MPP Mike Schreiner penned an open letter to Ford on Tuesday.

READ MORE: What you can and cannot do in Ontario amid Phase 1 of reopening

It states many local businesses that haven’t already been given the green light are eager to work with public health officials to open safely.

“While we recognize that many businesses have already been permitted to reopen as part of Phase 1, our community continues to search for innovative solutions to allow more businesses to resume safe operations,” the letter stated.

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Guthrie, Longfield and Schreiner are asking that certain professions that can comply with public health requirements be permitted to resume working, including professional photographers who are able to safely practise physical distancing.

The letter also asks the province to consider allowing health service providers, such as chiropractors and massage therapists, to reopen given that they operate similarly to physiotherapists and other care providers that have already opened.

They are also are asking Ford’s government to consider allowing restaurants to expand their dining areas into public sidewalks and laneways when they reopen.

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“We are equally committed to continuing to work in partnership with the provincial and federal governments to stimulate economic recovery with a thoughtful approach to reopening businesses in accordance with public health guidelines,” the letter stated.

In a response letter on Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford said he has noted the recommendations and they will be taken into consideration moving forward.

Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario reopening will take weeks to ensure it is done safely
Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario reopening will take weeks to ensure it is done safely

“We will continue doing everything in our power to support businesses and save jobs,” Ford said. “Helping employers survive this challenging period is an essential part of our government’s response to COVID-19.”

Ford added that the government is taking a stage-by-stage approach to reopening the economy and the new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee will be consulting with a wide variety of people across the province including municipal leaders, chambers of commerce and small business owners.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario extends current emergency orders until June 9

The province announced it is extending all current emergency orders until June 9 amid the pandemic. Those orders include keeping bars and restaurants closed, except for delivery and takeout.

On Thursday morning, Guelph had reported 136 total coronavirus cases. Among those, 104 people have recovered and nine have died.

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