Regional councillor Gary Zalepa had heard about the anger and threats from the hospitality industry toward the regional acting medical officer of health, Dr. Mustafa Hirji over the past weekend, but hasn’t heard a lot from local businesses.
He has received a few emails, he said, that were professional, and respectful. Some were simply from people wanting to understand better the colour-coded restrictions, and others were asking ‘why.’
“I think what was confusing was we moved from lockdown to grey, but grey isn’t all that different,” he said.
“People are stressed, businesses are challenged. And Dr. Hirji is doing his best. I don’t believe decisions are made entirely by one person, and the people who are making those decisions are basing them on what is in the best interest of the community.”
Hirji has notified regional politicians he’s considering some further changes, and will let them know of any decisions before announcing them to the public, said Zalepa.
Public health holds an update for regional councillors every other Friday, and with a meeting coming up this week, he expects councillors will be given information to help understand the decision-making process and an update on what could be coming.
“Anything could happen,” he said. While it’s possible the region could qualify for red, “it could also be another story. With the outbreak of variants we’re hearing about, I’m not an expert, but I don’t think we have a handle on how that transmission could affect us. I’m concerned about that.”