This lockdown will be the hardest on small businesses

Ontario is in lockdown again.   We have had two Easters living in a pandemic.

 Last year I recalled thinking next year will be better. Yet, here we are dealing not just with one virus but doing battle with variants that are hitting young people hard. It’s the reason the strict lockdown measures were put in place. 

 All the appeals for more people to do the right thing and stay at home were not being heeded, so now we’re all the paying price, especially our small businesses.  Many will not survive this time.    

Until someone finds a way to get through to people who don’t follow safety protocols, I fear our future will be a continual cycle of lockdowns. We should all be concerned.   

On March 26th, Mayor Watson announced the City would be proposing a permanent 10 percent small business tax reduction to help Ottawa’s struggling small businesses. Although there was some resistance to the idea before, I’m pleased to see a full discussion is coming to Council.

COVID-19 has severely impacted business owners and their hard-working employees, and while the City has implemented some relief measures, surely more can be done. But what?  

If you have a suggestion that you believe could help I want to hear it.   Shopping locally is now more critical than ever. We need to do everything we can to keep our local economy strong.

Dog owners must be more responsible

Years ago, I lived out west in Edmonton, a beautiful city, but not if you owned a dog.  Irresponsible doggie people had worn out their welcome by not picking up after their pets, so the City took action by prohibiting dogs in all city parks – no exceptions.  

It meant that the only place I could walk my two little dogs was on a sidewalk.  Of course, that meant no running around, no playing, frolicking with other dogs.  

    Dog owners here in Ottawa have it pretty good.  Their animals are allowed in some parks, on designated trails, and there are fenced runs.  So it’s discouraging to see the privilege being abused.  Too much dog poop is left behind, and too many dogs off-leash are approaching and jumping on walkers.   It’s leading to many complaints to my office.  An off-leash dog must be kept under control!

I am planning a spring clean-up and education campaign at parks in the ward.   In the meantime, I would like to encourage everyone to do their part to keep our parks and trails as clean as possible so that everyone can enjoy them.