Dear Federal Government: Can We Get On With It, Please?

This picture pretty much encapsulates the state of many businesses. It’s a massive 15,000 sq ft. store in a so-called A mall. Those are newer malls, most with a large anchor tenant, and the malls that will survive. But this store is staffed by one person – guessing at $15 an hour, and sells nothing over $10. In the entire mall (Outlet Mall at the Edmonton Airport) there may have been 20 or 30 shoppers the three times I’ve been in there the last month.

In March, my company made $244 and it’s now month number 13. We’re now the second time around of no church services for Easter, no Grad celebrations, no spring plans, no Canada Day celebrations, no travel this summer, and no end in sight here in Canada.

Canada is currently (stats as of Friday April 2nd) 64th in vaccine procurement.

We’ve vaccinated 15.6 people per 100. In the U.S. it’s 45.9%. That’s more than triple our rate. The US, as of the end of next week, will vaccinate anyone over age 18 that wants it. They’ve had huge tents in mall parking lots across the country for months now.

And we have 1.8% of Canadians fully vaccinated. Less than two percent, while the U.S. is at 17.5% – TEN TIMES AS MUCH. When Ontario premier Ford called the federal efforts “a joke” he was right on the mark as of now.

I have a friend on Vancouver Island that is over age 65, with two pre-existing conditions, and he’s not even close to getting his vaccination. In a relatives’ nursing home in Calgary, there’s another outbreak because health care workers aren’t even vaccinated. Sorry, but I don’t see any of the national media in Ottawa asking any hard questions, or any signs that the federal government is exhibiting any signs of urgency.

California, one of the most cautious and locked-down states, is lifting all business related restrictions as of June 15th. Here in Canada, maybe middle-aged Canadians will get vaccinated starting in September. But that’s just another of many promises. If so, it will take until the end of the year to get most people vaccinated.

According to multiple websites, including ourworldindata.com, many third world countries are ahead of us in vaccinations to get back to some kind of “normal.” Even the most disorganized U.S. now has its act together. They vaccinated around 4 million people a day over the Easter long weekend. If you told me we did zero vaccinations, because it was a holiday weekend, I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

The government has extended the application time for the Canada Emergency Business Account loans, but not the criteria. So that doesn’t help at all. Plus, the original $40,000 loan has to be repaid by December 2022. But by the time we’re sort of back in business, that’ll be less than a year. What business will get back to 100% AND grow so quickly as to have an extra $30,000 net profit made inside of a year in order to re-pay the loan?

PLEASE: I, along with millions of Canadians, and tens of thousands of small businesses can’t go much longer at this rate.

Update: Sure enough, as we discussed, within two hours of talking about it, the U.S. CDC has issued a travel advisory for Canada because of our rising Covid numbers and lack of vaccinations…

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