With the loosening of business restrictions, there have been many questions about the reasoning behind why governments make the decisions they do and when things will change. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been actively engaging governments and other associations to make sure everything possible has been done to keep pet food and supplies accessible and where possible businesses open. Since the beginning, we have monitored each province and territory, working closely with our partners at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) to engage governments. As you can imagine, getting answers can take time, and sometimes answers from different departments can contradict each other, causing further confusion. Each region is different. Being patient and collaborative has been key to our success. While governments have been open and appreciative of consultation, we cannot predict the parameters of their final plans and must react to each individual concern in real-time. Much like you, we have needed to be flexible and tenacious in order to find paths forward.
While other businesses had to close their doors we successfully lobbied to have pet retail and the supply line classified as essential. Through countless, meetings, emails, and phone calls, we made this happen. In past weeks one of our main focuses has been to get businesses such as grooming services open again and reclassified to provide urgent care services to ease suffering and help avoid emergency trips to the vet.
Across the country, we are seeing shifts in provincial lockdown regulations with each region following its own parameters. Some decisions seem sensible and others can be difficult to comprehend, such as which types of businesses are allowed customers in their stores and which are not. Advocacy work is a mix between hurry up and wait and reacting at lightning speed. As our work continues we felt it was important to let you know what goes on behind the scenes at PIJAC Canada and reaffirm our commitment to representing your interests and those of our pet families. We will continue to send updates as news can be reported and always encourage you to reach out with questions and share information you feel is relevant.
Our COVID-19 resource page on our website has a list of helpful links and you can also access the CFIB Small Business Help Centre at any time. We anticipate the coming weeks to be busy as restrictions loosen and again encourage you to share news from your region with us.