The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is urging the Ontario government to begin reopening the economy immediately as the provincial stay-at-home order expires Wednesday.
The CFIB is asking the province to allow retailers to open at a 20 per cent capacity, restaurant patios to open along with limited indoor service, hair salons and barbers by appointment and gyms by appointment.
With the current reopening plan, outdoor dining and non-essential retail at a limited capacity are expected to reopen on June 14.
Twenty-one days later, personal care services will be allowed to reopen. The final stage, which comes another 21 days later, indoor dining, casinos, indoor sports facilities and gyms will be allowed to reopen at a limited capacity.
The stay-at-home order has been in effect for the last eight weeks and is expected to expire June 2 as COVID-19 cases continue to drop and vaccinations continue to increase.
In Ontario, over 65 per cent of those eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine have received at least one dose.
According to CFIB’s calculations, indoor dining has been closed for 367 days since the beginning of the pandemic in Toronto, personal care services have been closed for 283 days while gyms have been closed for 354 days.
The CFIB says Ontario’ reopening plan should be more in line with the other provinces, like British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, where restaurants have already been allowed to reopen while also allowing regions with low case numbers and hospitalizations to reopen even quicker.
They are also asking for another round of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant funding.
The province signaled on Friday that despite improving circumstances across the province, it’s unlikely that Ontario will move ahead with reopening before Step 1 of the plan.