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Letter: Why ban indoor dining in New West and not hair salons or malls?

A restaurant co-owner speaks out
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An open letter to New Westminster MLA Jennifer Whiteside:

I am one of the owners of Piva Modern Italian and proud to live in New Westminster. 

I write to you about the closure of restaurants in B.C., for which I can see no reasoning. Our restaurant, along with many of our peers, have gone out of the way to ensure a safe environment for both our patrons and staff. We have had no issues at our restaurant; nor am I aware of issues with any others in your constituency.

The communication of your government has been confusing. More specifically, I would ask the following:

Why restaurants? Where is the specific data verifying there has been a major number of outbreaks in this sector? Are restaurants to blame for the most recent surge in cases? I can find no evidence of this (please correct me here if I’m missing something). 

Why not hair salons or malls? 

Furthermore, on behalf of many the under-35-year-old employees at Piva, I’m upset at the tone your leader took. First off, I can tell you, this demographic is bearing the economic (and social) brunt of this pandemic. Once again, they are out of work. Second, in my personal observation, our team has been very responsible with regards to the seriousness of COVID-19. 

For Mr. Horgan to first tell them they’ve lost their jobs and then second to lump them all into a “bad actor” category, is both irresponsible and unfair. Has he no compassion for these people?

There are some harsh realities of the decisions being made by your government. When decisions like this are made, they should be clearly articulated and justified. 

As our MLA, I would ask that you please speak up for those of us who are trying hard to make New Westminster more livable, acting responsibly and taking this pandemic very serious. 

Kurt Wipp, New Westminster