The list has been trimmed down fairly significantly since it was first published. Here it is as of April 3rd, 2020.
The Ontario government has ordered that all non-essential businesses be closed by midnight tonight (the beginning of Wednesday, March 25th) for at least two weeks. But what does that mean, exactly? Who is essential and who isn’t? There wasn’t a full list when the move was announced, but we have one now.
Scanning through it, it almost looks like it should be largely business as usual, or at least as usual as business can possibly be right now.
On the surface it seems pretty funny that beer and liquor stores are allowed to stay open. I’m sure everyone has already made their of course, this is Canada and we’d riot if they closed jokes already, in fact. But it actually makes good sense when you think about it. Most of us are in a fine position to make those jokes, but there are plenty of folks who aren’t thanks to severe dependencies. Sending all of those people into severe withdrawal all at once would create a burden on the medical system that it really doesn’t need at the moment.
Somewhat unrelated side note: One of the strangest things for me through this entire COVID-19 situation has been watching Doug Ford and his government be forced to spend money and help people instead of defunding everyone’s vital services. I say that with zero exaggeration. It’s so weird. And I hope that somehow through all of this, maybe they’ll learn something about what people actually need and the things that are truly important. That’s probably just me being overly optimistic, but you never know.