Back to business – in a safe and measured way

I’d like to begin by thanking everyone in Sarnia-Lambton for the extraordinary efforts and great sacrifices they’ve made during the current COVID-19 pandemic. I appreciate and understand the tremendous challenges you’ve been facing, whether it’s not being able to visit with loved ones, getting laid off from work, having to deal with the financial challenges of owning a business, or many other troublesome circumstances.

These unprecedented times have forced all of us to deal with situations well beyond our control – and it’s a tribute to everyone who has done their part to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. As a result of your vigilance, Ontario has been able to begin the first stage of its road to recovery.

During this phase, the government is focusing on workplaces that are well-positioned to follow public health advice to maintain physical distancing, implement workplace safety guidance, and limit gatherings.

As I’ve visited local businesses that have reopened and talked to the owners and their customers, it has been gratifying to see most people are continuing to adhere to the health protocols recommended by the province and reinforced by Lambton Public Health. For local information on COVID-19 workplace health protocols, please visit the County of Lambton website at

Although these are challenging times for all businesses, it’s great to see people’s optimism returning as stores and services begin the challenging job of reopening safely and bringing their employees back to work. The Ministry of Labour has provided a series of health and safety guidelines for various business sectors to ensure that employees and customers are protected. I urge all companies and workers to read and adhere to these important guidelines, which are available online.

I had a chance to experience our rising community optimism when I attended a virtual Zoom ribbon cutting for a new Sarnia business, Lake Effect Studio. I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to Kelly Moir and Sam Eastman, two recent university graduates who have returned to Sarnia and opened their one-stop, environmentally conscious branding and marketing firm. With their positive energy and dynamic spirit, I’m sure they will be very successful, even in these uncertain times.

For those businesses that aren’t open yet, our government is working hard to move forward as quickly as possible to get you back in business, always with the health and safety of all Ontarians at the forefront. I understand the financial impact these closures are having on business owners and their employees. To that end, the Ontario Legislature has resumed regular sittings. I will be at Queen’s Park throughout June and July as we debate numerous pieces of important legislation, many related to jumpstarting the province’s business sector.

Rest assured, the government wants as much of the economy to reopen as possible in the most expedient manner, but all our decisions are based on the recommendations we receive from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and the province’s COVID-19 command table, whose goal is to protect the health and safety of all Ontarians.

Speaking of health, I’ve heard from many constituents who are very pleased that elective surgeries and medical procedures are being restarted. That means a wide variety of health providers will again be able to offer much-needed services to their patients.

Thank you to everyone who has persevered during this time as you’ve waited patiently for these important procedures to begin again. Through your efforts, we have been able to prevent a surge in cases at our local hospitals and managed to keep the coronavirus outbreak in Sarnia-Lambton at manageable levels. As always, however, the possibility exists that we could be hit by a second wave of the virus. Because of that, we must remain vigilant and prepare for the long haul, always taking a cautious approach as we reopen our province.

In closing, I want to thank everyone in Sarnia-Lambton, once again, for the sacrifices they’ve made and the patience they’ve shown during this pandemic. Together, through our collective efforts, we will inspire hope, imagination and creativity as we rebuild and reopen Ontario’s economy and move confidently towards the future.

For anyone needing assistance with provincial matters, my constituency office staff members are always ready to help. Please leave a voicemail message at 519-337-0051 or email us at and we will do our best to respond as quickly as possible to your concerns.

Additionally, for the latest news and information, please visit my website at, check out my Facebook page at or visit Ontario’s special COVID-19 website: .