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Denley: Ontario's too-cautious approach to reopening could damage businesses permanently

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Ontarians and their provincial government are facing a stark choice: either we learn to start living with COVID-19 risk or we can say goodbye to substantial chunks of the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors, along with many of the hundreds of thousands of jobs they create.

Premier Doug Ford said Monday that he will extend the province’s state of emergency until the end of June, which offers scant hope to businesses still closed by government decree. Ontario could very well remain stuck in phase one of its economic restart plan until then. The second phase, whenever that is, will open more businesses, but restaurants are unlikely to be allowed to open until phase three, which is so far off that one could not even hazard a guess.

There has been some talk of regional reopening in areas where the virus numbers are low, but Ford explained that it’s complicated, before returning to his mantra that “I just don’t want to chance anything.”

What the premier is chancing, and it’s more of a........

© Ottawa Citizen