|9:02 PM (2 hours ago)|
Toronto Mayor John Tory is really excited about Ontario entering Stage 3 of reopening and bars and restaurants opening up again.
Actually, what he’s really excited about is slapping a whole lot of regulatory restrictions on them.
On Sunday, Tory sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford containing six recommended rules to be imposed on these establishments, which have absorbed a catastrophic financial hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tory is calling for mandatory masks for all staff and patrons, earlier closing hours, occupancy restrictions, and for all patrons to provide contact information that is to be kept for 30 days, to allow for tracing as needed.
Wow! Where to begin?
Asking everyone for their contact information is not going to go over well. That’s a bit of a safety issue. They might get a lot of false information.
Again, as with the mandatory facemask rules, you have to wonder whether recommendations like these are really about protection—as is claimed—or politics.
Tory says that “experts” believe that masks keep people safer and that restaurants and bars pose a higher level of risk for the spread of the coronavirus.
Are these the same experts who were saying back in March that masks weren’t necessary outside of hospitals, and that anyone who suggested that the borders should be closed was a racist?
We all want to stop the spread of COVID-19. We’ve all made extraordinary sacrifices toward that end. No businesses have been hit harder than the hospitality industry. Many of them have closed and are never coming back.
In some cases, establishments built by generations of hard work and dedication are gone forever.
A recent Leger poll shows that a national average of 22% of Canadians will avoid bars and restaurants for as long as masks are mandatory there.
We all need our country’s economy to rebound from this setback, and bars and restaurants must be part of the resurgence. We don’t need politicians like John Tory making the hard road back even more difficult for them.
Mayor Tory’s recommendations are evidence of state overreach, which has reared its ugly head during this crisis. Using the pandemic as a cover, it imposes draconian limitations on our freedoms in the name of the common good.
Those who voice opposition are shouted down as selfish and reckless, and the statists consolidate their power.
Once given up, these freedoms will be difficult to regain.
John Tory is also calling for mandatory masks in residential apartment buildings.
Canadians who feel more comfortable wearing a facemask should be by all means do so, but masks should not be made mandatory.
Re-openings of businesses should be done responsibly and safely, but without being hamstrung by statists who, having had a taste of authoritarianism, are hungry for more.
I remain 100% opposed to making any eventual COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for Canadians.
I will continue to guard against any unjust limitations of our rights introduced in the name of public safety or other invocations of the “common good”.