This Valentine's Day, our heart breaks for the restaurant industry

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Walking the streets of downtown Ottawa last Sunday was downright eerie, given how devoid of life those streets were. Think of taking a trip to Zombieland — with even the zombies gone AWOL. 

After all, on Valentine’s Day, one would expect this city — like any other major city — to be bustling with activity. Valentine’s Day is traditionally one of the busiest days on the calendar, when it comes to the restaurant business in particular. But on this day, there would be no romantic dinners, given that many restaurants are only allowed to provide takeout and delivery service. Many other restaurants were closed, while so many others have permanently shut down thanks to the COVID lockdown measures. In short, not a lot of love was evident in Ottawa on this particular Saint Valentine’s Day.

But what was evident in Canada’s capital city is the dichotomy that exists when it comes to those in the private and public sectors. While the private sector suffers due to the lockdowns, it’s business as usual in the public sector. Does anyone know of a single government employee who has lost their job? Or who has taken a pay cut? Or who has had their hours cut? No, when one is a rank-and-file member of the bureaucracy, one is immune from any of the harm being perpetrated on the economy thanks to the Wuhan virus protocols, because the public sector is… special.

In short, so much for that slogan we’ve been hearing ad nauseam for about a year now: “We’re all in this together.” Surely, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, “We’re all in this together” might indeed be the greatest lie ever perpetrated upon us, right up there with, “The cheque is in the mail” and, “Hi. I’m from the government. I’m here to help you…

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