On a week when a judge ordered protesters at the Ambassador Bridge over the U.S.-Canadian border to end the 5-day-old blockade thousand and thousands of Canadians and Islanders joined forces to peacefully protest against vaccine mandates, vaccine ID cards and mask restrictions that literally have ruined the lives and livelihood of thousands of small business owners and staff, caused serious mental health issues and financial ruin for many islanders and their families and friends. The overriding message from participants and by standers is its time to stop the fear and get back to living life again.
Unfortunately politicians did not meet or give any speeches to the crowd but the P.E.I. government intends to drop the requirement for Islanders and visitors to isolate for four days after arriving at an entry point. It was imposed in late 2021 when Omicron variant case numbers began to rise elsewhere in Canada. Although this is a start, government sponsored ID segregation and mask mandates are yet to be eliminated, but hopefully there will be an announcement soon on these policies.
Now there is widespread community transmission on the Island, almost all of these cases are very mild. The convoy had trucks, cars, tractors and big wheel trucks and all very cheerfully and peaceful agreeing that its time to end these mask mandates, ID card registrations and vaccine cards restrictions and get back to building an economy decimated by the virus and governments restrictions on its populations.
With close to 93.7 per cent of residents over 12 had gotten at least two shots of a COVID-19 vaccinated, and 67.4 per cent of children aged 5 to 11 had at least one dose so its time to stop and try to heal. We are unsure of the devastation on small business: closures, job loss, suicides - it probably never will be publicized - but we have seen hundreds of job losses, business closures and financial ruin just in PEI.
Here at Atlantic Business Federation we agree with the stand of Islanders to end these vaccine mandates and ID card registrations. Obviously it was important to monitor the virus once it started and we agree it was a necessity, but now is the time to take of these masks and stop segregating the population. Presenting ID cards to eat, restrictions on places of worship and family gathering just seems like a time that we should never go back to.
Paul Trainor is vice president and General Manager of PEI and Atlantic Business Federation. Please contact us anytime at 902 940 5927 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback and conversation.
Photos courtesy of Virtual Creations Photography . www.virtualcreations.ca
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