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Brampton mayor says lockdowns turning personal care sector into 'underground economy'
April 6, 2021

Just two days after Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown applauded the provincial government for allowing salons and other personal care businesses to reopen on a limited basis, the province shut them down again.

Premier Doug Ford announced April 1 that his government was pulling the COVID-19 “emergency break,” putting all of Ontario back into strict lockdown measures for another four weeks.

On March 30, Brown told reporters at a news conference that he was pleased to hear the government was planning to allow personal care services to resume limited in-person services starting April 12 because people were simply finding ways around the closure orders.

“In terms of the personal care industry, it was turning into an underground economy. People were simply going to someone’s basement for personal care services or going to another city,” Brown said.

“The fact that we are recognizing we are losing patience with the public since we were shut down since Nov. 23, it was time to have some allowance for those personal care services. The fact that they’re going to be permitted within capacity limits on April 12 is something that I welcome,” he added.

Brown’s optimism didn’t last long, and personal care services will now remain closed until at least the end of April.

While the Ford government had allowed such services to resume in some areas of the province since Nov. 23, those and most other businesses across Brampton and Peel Region -- which also includes Mississauga and Caledon -- have mostly remained shuttered due to ongoing high case counts.

Peel Region has been considered a COVID-19 hot spot for most of the pandemic, which hit over a year ago now. New cases have soared in Brampton and Peel in recent weeks and the addition of variants is beginning to strain the city’s hospital resources again.

“We are facing a very serious situation. As I’ve said many times, we will do whatever it takes to protect the people of Ontario,” Ford said.