Will restaurants and Ontario face off in court?
Plus: Yurek's out, a chief of staff exits, and a Pink Palace makeover
ABOVE THE FOLD
First in Queen’s Park Observer — RESTAURANT REBELLION: The Ford government may be staring down another court battle — this time, with restaurants. Sources in the revenue-strapped industry tell me they’re currently mulling over a possible lawsuit after the latest round of lockdowns and what many consider to be paltry supports to stay afloat in tough pandemic times.
It’s early days yet — Nothing is set in stone — and the potential legal arguments aren’t totally clear — but industry insiders point to the latest tranche of government grants — $10,000 for businesses with fewer than 100 employees impacted by the recent shutdowns — and say that won’t cut it.
“These guys are out of touch,” said one source, noting that the last two rounds of funding provided up to $20,000. But businesses aren’t “50 per cent more profitable for some reason during this lockdown.”
The business lobby hasn’t been shy when it comes to calling out the latest Omicron-fighting measures, which include a ban on indoor dining and gyms. Canadian Federation of Independent Business head DAN KELLY said he’s worried the shutdown will continue for more than three weeks with inadequate supports.
Context: Auditor General BONNIE LYSYK has raised concerns over earlier support programs, determining that a lack of controls resulted in $210-million worth of payments to ineligible businesses.