To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted working people and small businesses in Brampton is an understatement and now that the second wave of the virus has begun, the City needs all the help it can get.
On October 1, Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, was in Brampton fighting for “Save Main Street,” her plan for jobs and financial security for working people in hopes of putting it into place before businesses are impacted again during the second wave.
“A lot of working folks here in Brampton and around the province are just a paycheque or so away from their pantries going bare, rent or mortgage going unpaid, or having to crack open their retirement savings to make ends meet,” said Horwath.
“It’s clear that folks need financial security to get through the second wave of COVID-19 – including direct supports for workers and businesses – and then we’re going to need to create more good jobs than ever before to help people get back on track.”
During her time in Brampton, Horwath was joined by Andria Barrett, President of the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce and Ken Manning, the owner of Quality Care Clinic.
Manning had to use some of his savings to keep his company afloat during the first wave of the virus, but as costs continued piling up, Manning laid off his staff before shutting it down on Sept. 30.
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Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer recently revealed that the Ford government is sitting on billions of dollars which were meant for pandemic supports which he’s not investing.
“Doug Ford has been trying to save a buck, instead of preparing for the second wave of COVID-19 infections,” said Horwath.
“Now, we need to rush critical investments to the front lines – small businesses like Ken’s, entrepreneurs and family-owned operations, ethnic media outlets, working families. That’s how we get people through the next wave, and give them the stability they need to come out of this pandemic healthier, more prosperous, and ready to power the economy forward.”
The NDP’s plan includes a ban on all commercial evictions, sick days for all, a 75 per cent commercial rent subsidy, a fund to help businesses with safe-reopening costs or remote-work set-up costs, an end to insurance gouging and insurance denials, an auto-insurance grace period for taxis and commercial auto insurance rebate and a dedicated fund to help businesses that face historic barriers, including barriers to accessing capital, as recommended by the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce.
Horwath is also fighting for an Ethnic Media Stabilization Fund, to ensure community media sources can continue to operate as well as continue to keep their staff on the payroll.
Photo courtesy of Andrea Horwath’s Twitter page