Madam Speaker, businesses have been hit hard, in particular fitness and martial arts, including two entrepreneurs in Kelowna—Lake Country. Michelle, SPINCO indoor cycling studio's founder, says, “the pandemic has been very tough on our business, as we have been completely closed for the better part of a year, having taken on a lot of debt we did not anticipate. Our franchisees are local female entrepreneurs, and in some cases are not eligible for support programs.”
Jordan owns Pacific Top Team Martial Arts academy. At a great loss, he had to close one of his four locations, because it was opened just prior to the pandemic, making it not eligible for government programs. He describes his situation and that of many others in his industry as “suffering”. Health orders are provincial jurisdiction. However, there has been a lack of federal leadership on every aspect of the pandemic for a year now.
It was disappointing that the Liberals voted down a Conservative motion this week calling on the government to introduce a data-driven COVID reopening plan to gradually, safely and permanently lift restrictions, as other countries have.