Count Progressive Conservative MPP Gila Martow among those who are not at all happy with Ontario Premier Doug Ford placing York Region, where her Thornhill riding is located, into the dreaded Grey Zone of lockdown.
Martow, who is currently running to be the Conservative Party of Canada nominee for Thornhill’s federal riding, actually made a press release condemning York Region (population 1.2 million people) going into the Grey Zone.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, I have always advocated to ensure we balance the need to keep people safe with measures that support small businesses,” said Martow. “While I recognize and appreciate the need to limit large gatherings, I stand with Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti’s call for further restrictions on big box retailers while allowing small businesses to remain open.”
“Big box retailers like Walmart should not be permitted to enrich themselves on the backs of small businesses simply because they can afford to hire well-connected lobbyists like Melissa Lantsman to get them preferential treatment,” she continued.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community. Now, more than ever, Thornhill and York Region needs its leaders to fight for the needs of our community — not for corporate insiders.”
Melissa Lantsman is running against Martow for the federal nomination. Notably, she previously served as Premier Ford’s war-room director. It was also recently revealed that Lantsman and David Tarrant, Premier Ford’s former executive director of strategic communications, had arranged a meeting between the premier and the CEO of Walmart Canada. It was during this meeting that Premier Ford was allegedly convinced that Walmart should not be locked down, unlike the province’s small businesses.
We recently interviewed MPP Martow about this sad state of affairs. We also extended the opportunity for Melissa Lantsman to come on camera. Alas, Lantsman declined, although she stated in an email that “I don’t believe small businesses should be closed.”
Considering she was a paid lobbyist for Walmart Canada, the question arises: by whose standard is Walmart considered a “small business”?