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Tuesday’s protest came 106 days after Ontario ordered the closure of all restaurants, bars, cafés and other non-essential businesses where people gather. Local leaders had expressed hope late last week, after conversations with Premier Doug Ford, that there might be good news at the start of this week, but then came a startling spike in new local COVID-19 cases, almost all of them migrant workers on farms in the two towns.
Santos said the long shutdown has many independent small businesses “pushed to the edge.”
In addition to permission to move to Stage 2, the local business owners are also petitioning senior governments to inject extra stimulus funding and provide other help to the two towns, now stuck weeks behind the recovery efforts of others municipalities, including those just a few minutes drive away.