TORONTO — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to Minister Elliott’s press conference this afternoon:
“Today’s vaccine certificate announcement leaves small businesses with yet more questions, confusion and concern.
While I’m glad to see more guidelines being rolled out, the vaccine certificate program is still short on details — specifically around enforcement, funding and medical exemptions.
Many small businesses are already in a difficult financial position, with an average debt of over $190,000 in Ontario. Many businesses are still waiting for funding from the Small Business Support Grant, or have been told they’re ineligible.
Yet there’s been no word on further funding for technology or staffing costs for small businesses.
And based on the announcement today, it’s on small businesses to accurately cross-reference vaccine records, ID and doctor’s notes until the QR code becomes available on October 22nd.
The Premier has once again left small businesses out to dry as he’s done throughout this pandemic.
Two weeks ago I sent a letter to the Premier urging him to convene a meeting with opposition party leaders and diverse stakeholders to discuss how Ontario can roll out the best possible vaccine certificate. The Premier’s certificate is not nearly comprehensive enough and is full of inconsistencies, exceptions and loopholes.
I’m calling on the Premier to provide small businesses with the necessary clarity and funding support so they can stay open and stay safe. We can’t afford another lockdown.”