Saturday, March 21, 2020

Nanaimo Restaurants and Bars To Close

Photo Credit K. Shaw
Iconic Nanaimo Restaurant Boarded Up

The Modern Cafe in downtown Nanaimo looks like it is bracing for a hurricane with the storefront completed boarded up. This restaurant and a few bars in Nanaimo were ahead of the curve, choosing to close before the Province's order of yesterday.

As of yesterday the Provincal Health Office ordered all bars and restaurants to close, with the exception of drive through and take-away food from restaurants. The rationale was the industry's inability to maintain the social distancing thought vital in combating the covid crisis.

The enforcement of that order in Nanaimo falls to the local RCMP and time will tell if they are proactive in the enforcement or will operate on a complaint basis. It is unknown if the local Health Authority would also play a role in the enforcement of this order as it is deemed a critical weapon in the fight against the spread of the virus.

This is a big hit to the local economy as many jobs depend on the food and drink business and most of these workers are living paycheque to paycheque and tip to tip now. The expedited EI claim system may offer some relief, but it does not cover income lost from tips and pays 55% of your regular income. It does nothing for the small business owner who will see their income disappear, while overhead costs continue.

With rents coming due for many next week, the decision between food and shelter may become a serious matter.

The local food bank is facing a double whammy with an expected increase in people needing food and the fact supermarkets are not having the same surplus that is common.

Mixed Messages From Government

On the one hand we are being warned that enforced 'self isolating' for two weeks may be on the horizon. At the same time people are being told not to stock up on food items as that puts a strain on the supply chain.

At the end of the day, the government can only keep the economy afloat for a very limited period of time, if people's jobs are lost for many months. It is at times like this that the fact government has no money of it's own comes into sharp focus. The federal government is talking about throwing $82 billion at the covid crisis, this of course is money they don't have as they already are running a $20 billion deficit. They can only keep printing funny money for so long and then it becomes of no value.

To all of those green screamers out there who have done their best to gut the Canadian natural resource sector ...... wake up, that is what makes our currency of some value. In a time of economic upset like we have here, perhaps all those who have hindered the Canadian economy over pipelines and such, can step forward and lead the way as to how to actually run a country.


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