North Grenville Mayor pushes for regional re-opening of economy 

Mayor of North Grenville, Nancy Peckford. (Facebook)

The Mayor of North Grenville is the latest to call for a regional approach to re-opening Ontario's economy. 

In a letter to Premier Doug Ford, Mayor Nancy Peckford said local businesses, particularly non-essential ones, have been struggling in their sixth week of lockdown, which comes after they were already hit hard by the first lockdown last spring. 

"It is clear that these entrepreneurs and their families have paid an enormous price," Peckford wrote in her letter. 

"The burden they bear is significant. I see the pain and worry on many of their faces, the uncertainty about the future."

Peckford points to low COVID-19 case numbers in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark and the excellent contact-tracing work by the Health Unit, as reasons the local economy should re-open. 

"Given this reality, on behalf of all local businesses in North Grenville, I am formally requesting that the Government of Ontario recognize that, where COVID numbers remain low, a province wide shutdown of local businesses is no longer warranted after February 10th 2021," she wrote. 

"Quite simply, ending the province wide shutdown next week is imperative for the health of our local economy, survival of so many businesses and well-being of our communities. A regional approach to local business re-openings would mirror the approach being taken with school re-openings."

Ford said this week that an announcement on re-opening the economy could come next week and as early as this Monday. 

MPP for the area Steve Clark said last week he was optimistic the area would be able to re-open faster than other areas where case counts are higher, and said he hoped the province would shift back to its colour-coded system for regions that was in place before the Dec. 26 lockdown.