Council advocates to remove Grey-lockdown order to help Collingwood businesses

Only a few kilometres from locked down Collingwood, Blue Mountain is in the green category

Collingwood council wants Doug Ford to publicly explain what factors would move neighbouring Grey-Bruce into the least restrictive green-zone as the town was moved into grey-lockdown under the Ontario COVID-19 response framework.

The request was part of a motion unanimously approved at a special council meeting Monday night to discuss the repercussions of Friday’s announcement that Simcoe-Muskoka was being moved back to grey-lockdown.

Council wants the province to explain how putting Grey-Bruce in the green category and Collingwood in grey together decrease the COVID risks given the two neighbouring municipalities are economically and socially intertwined.

The grey category places capacity limits on stores and requires salons, gyms, fitness centres, yoga and dance studios to close. Restaurants and bars cannot allow dine-in customers.

It’s a situation the Collingwood BIA finds difficult to stomach because just a few kilometres to the west at Blue Mountain Resort and Village, it is pretty much wide-open with social distancing and hygiene measures still intact.

“Council heard the deep frustration and concerns from our business community in response to Friday’s Provincial announcement to put our region in the Grey Zone. We convened a Special Meeting Monday and, after thorough discussion, passed this motion that covers a range of actions including a request to the Province to reinstate Collingwood to the Red Zone or lower, to level the playing field for our local businesses,” said Mayor Saunderson. “I have heard from many business owners that the financial burden of another lockdown will be devastating, and we are advocating with the Province and Health Unit to get local businesses open and operating.” 

Residents and businesses are being encouraged to write letters to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Charles.gardner@smdhu.org and the Premier’s Office Premier@ontario.ca to voice their concerns and ask them to reverse the grey-lockdown order.