December 2020 - Open Letter to the Eastern Ontario Skiing Community

From Mount Pakenham President Joanne Clifford
Dec 23, 2020

I am devastated by the Ontario Government’s knee-jerk decision to shut all Ski Hills in Ontario. Ontario Regulation 82/20 Schedule 3 S4(2) enacted in November 2020 specifically allows Ski Hills to operate in all levels including the "Grey/Lockdown “ stage and allows Ontario residents to travel for “physical activity and exercise”. On that basis, and in good faith, Mount Pakenham opened for the season and committed to our staff and customers. Ski Hills require a huge upfront financial investment to open every year (Snowmaking, Safety Inspections, PPE, Grooming equipment).

The December 21st decision to “Shutdown” Ski Hills is unethical in my opinion and has no hope of achieving the Province's health goals.

My family has been in the Ski Industry for 70 years and Premier Doug Ford is destroying my Family business (and thousands of other Ontario businesses) and preventing Ontario residents from enjoying safe outdoor physical activity and exercise.

It is inexplicable that our elected provincial authorities are refusing to listen to the thousands of medical professionals worldwide who are advocating for no more extended Lockdowns. Also, inexplicable that Ottawa, Lanark, and Renfrew Counties who have very low Covid numbers are being punished with a 28 day Shutdown.

If Premier Doug Ford’s information is correct about International flights bringing Covid to Toronto, he should be closing the Toronto airport instead of closing the Province.

We are doing everything we can to try to get our MPPs to amend the Shutdown to allow Ski Hills to operate and continue providing safe Outdoor Recreation.

If you agree, please consider writing a letter to your Local MPP and/or sending a Letter through the Save Our Skiing campaign, as well as signing this community-led Petition.