COVID-19 - Equality For All, 2021
When a big box or mega-chain corporation builds a new store in a small town, many local businesses are forced into closure. Then, if that experiment proves unprofitable and closes, the town is often left in economic ruin. This pattern has been seen and reported on repeatedly, yet nothing has been done to prevent the pattern of devastation.
Although it was clearly not their plan, the ongoing and fluctuating COVID-19 regulations in Ontario are causing this pattern to be spread across our province. A little over a year ago, our elected officials responded responsibly to the new crisis by temporarily closing all small businesses and allowing only the retail giants to stay open with capacity restrictions. However, ever since that initial lockdown was rescinded, the same kneejerk reaction has been taken whenever a spike was reported.
Little evidence supports that small and medium local businesses are a major source of spread for the coronavirus. However, it is almost a daily event that big box and mega-retailers are reported to have experienced exposure. It is also a fact that local store and service owners have been shown to spend more time cleaning and sanitizing simply to be permitted to stay open.
On Saturday, March 6, 2021, a group of local entrepreneurs held a respectful and safety-conscious protest at Meridian Place. Their goals was to call upon the government for equal rights and representation. This was not about conspiracies or anger at a situation none of us can control. Businesses are being forced into closure and families are losing everything they have worked years to attain. The message was simply a call by business owners, employers, and taxpayers seeking fairness and equality for all.
We would like to thank the following sponsors of the Ontario Community Awareness Network. These businesses show they care about our shared community by helping us to provide a locally-focused truly local voice to you and your neighbours. They also enable our crew to be able to continue providing donated services to promote local benevolent community groups and charities based in The City of Barrie, the Town of Innisfil, and the Township of Oro-Medonte.
Videography and post-production by John Ironside
the OCANetwork, also known as Five Points Media, is currently in transition to become a provincially registered not-for-profit corporation. To the best of our knowledge, ours will be the only community channel of its kind.
We are looking for new programming ideas, with our focus being mostly on fringe and minority groups whose members are mostly ignored by mainstream media. These include, but are not limited to, the Indigenous population, People of Colour, members of the LGBTQQIP2SAA community, and people of various cultures and religions.
We will continue to donate all video and media services to registered charities and benevolent not-for-profit groups that promote unity and support all members of the community. Our eventual goal will be to expand our programming to cover all of Ontario through a network of regional bureau facilities. This service will help all people in Ontario to learn about each other and work in unity.