Skip to main content

Lifting restrictions 'like ripping off a Band-Aid before wound has healed': Chamber of Commerce president and CEO

Calgary Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Deborah Yedlin. (Courtesy Calgary Chamber of Commerce) Calgary Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Deborah Yedlin. (Courtesy Calgary Chamber of Commerce)

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce said the province's announcement that it was lifting some restrictions beginning at midnight "ignores the importance of consumer confidence in economic recovery."

Chamber President and CEO Deborah Yedlin released a statement early Tuesday evening that said the province's initiative wasn't backed up by corresponding scientific data.

Yedlin compared the lifting of the Restrictions Exemption Program as being akin to "ripping off a Band-Aid before the wound has healed."

"The latest data gathered from wastewater tracking by UCalgary shows the viral load is declining at a slower rate compared with how quickly it rose," she said, in a statement. "The changes made today are sudden – and have been announced against a backdrop of tools such as rapid testing and contact tracing no longer being available to help businesses keep staff and patrons safe and comfortable."

Yedlin said acting prematurely might produce exactly the opposite result the province desires.


"Lifting these restrictions will likely lead to several unintended consequences," she said. "Businesses that rely on discretionary spending may see a decline in revenue as consumers choose to stay home and minimize the potential for exposure.

"Industries and public services that rely on front-line employees are already facing severe labour shortages – and jeopardizing the comfort and safety of staff is likely to exacerbate these challenges.

"Schools may see an increase in infection rates, sending children and teachers home and disrupting work patterns and productivity for many parents."

"We would all like to return to having no restrictions and going back to seeing loved ones and engaging in all the activities we enjoy," she said. "But we must only do so only when we have adequate certainty that the probability of infection and illness is very low and that a more severe variant is not on the horizon.

"We are not there yet.

"To facilitate the ability to treat this as endemic, we urge all orders of government to work together to provide businesses with the option to continue with pandemic measures, the tools to stay open and safe and clarity on overlapping regulations." Top Stories

Stay Connected