By Lethbridge Herald on December 26, 2020.
The government can only paint with a broad brush and so when they shut the economy down they do exactly that and close all businesses even those that are perfectly safe and could remain open. The result is frustration and resentment at the unfairness as well as deeper economic losses and ultimately more government debt.
The saddest result is that many businesses that are forced to shut down unnecessarily will shut down forever and that’s a permanent loss of employment and tax revenue and to the general prosperity of our society. It’s also a loss of entrepreneurial spirit which is one of the basic drivers of the Alberta economy; one that our government professes to place a high value on.
It’s understandable that the actions of a centralized government cannot accommodate all of the nuances and complexities of a functioning society and its economies. In this pandemic instance, it would be wise and effective for governments to decentralize some functions even if only temporarily.
The most recent shutdown closed one business and left another open with precisely the same offering. The difference was that the exempted business offered a small retail component. If our municipality was assigned a COVID ombudsman those inconsistencies could be appealed and eliminated resulting in fairness and continued survival of at least some businesses.
This is a time to think outside the box and engage the wisdom and experience of real people who are actually “living it.” Politicians often lack actual business experience and therefore are incapable of presenting creative solutions to difficult problems. It’s time to ask for and listen to the advice of those non politicians who could really help deliver practical solutions. Ten days ago, I called my Lethbridge East MLA and proposed the “ombudsman” solution. Although his receptionist was very enthusiastic about the proposal I have not received a call back from my government representative.