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Friday, September 30, 2022
COVID-19: Letter: Fining store owners kicks them when they’re down

Dear editor:

I just heard that one of the stores on Queen Street was fined by the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake for having people standing too close in a lineup outside the store. Some social media posts said the fine was $1,000.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the public area outside the store be under the jurisdiction of the town and not the retailer?

Wouldn’t it be the town’s responsibility to enforce these social distancing rules? How can it be the responsibility of the store owner to look after a lineup outside their store and which, indeed, may very well have people in it who are not even going to their particular establishment?

Just when the province allows these poor retailers to get back to work, our bylaw officers go and kick them when they are at their most vulnerable for something that should not fall under their responsibility at all.

Should our retailers hire one or two more people just to police this? Have they not got enough on their plate trying to pay the rent that in a lot of cases has not been deferred due to greedy and short-sighted landlords?

Way to go, Town of NOTL. If I was this retailer you would have a tough time getting that $1,000 out of me.

Dispute this fine all you can. I know a QC lawyer who says you have a very good case. Good luck and keep your chin up through these difficult times. We locals will look after you!

Shaun McDonald