LILLEY: Ontario to report 939 new COVID-19 cases, impose new restrictions, sources say

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Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, whose territory also makes up part of Peel Region, also spoke out against closures.

“Restaurants aren’t contributing to transmission, according to public health,” Brown said last week.

In Ottawa, despite being a hotspot, Mayor Jim Watson rejected the idea of closing restaurants this week.

“I’m satisfied with the current level of restrictions,” Watson said Tuesday.

He said city staff were handing out tickets to businesses and individuals not following the rules.

Watson cited local public health data to say that private residences remain a major issue in the province’s second-largest city, as do long-term care facilities, but not restaurants or bars.

A week ago, the lobby group Restaurants Canada told me that 33,000 people would lose their jobs in Toronto alone with the end of indoor dining. In Ottawa, there would be another 12,000 jobs lost.

Spread that across Peel, York and Hamilton and then add in gyms, still not back to full capacity or full employment, and tell me how many people will receive the depressing news that they are now unemployed thanks to a provincial decree Friday.

At this point, this decision is kind of like the Ghost of Christmas Future — cabinet has not decided. They meet later in the day and if cabinet decides that there are other ways to manage this outbreak without crushing the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Ontarians, then maybe this disaster can be avoided.

If not, we are heading back to March and April. Welcome back to the lockdown, Ontario.

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