The Citizens’ Hearing took place from June 22nd to 24th, 2022 in Toronto, Canada, and marked the launch of an historic documentation of Canadians negatively impacted by government responses to COVID-19. Frontier is featuring extracts weekly.
Josh Shulman, also in BC, was the owner of the Smugglers’ Smokehouse restaurant until he had to close it. “The COVID policies enacted by our federal and Provincial governments completely destroyed my wife and I’s ability to run our business successfully. The lockdowns and restrictions completely took away one of our two locations. Due to size and location of our remaining restaurant location, were were unable to have outdoor seating or seat enough people inside to make the money we needed to pay our business loans. The FREE money being handed out robbed us of our employees. Our only option was to continue to go deeper in debt in order to make it through the lockdowns. That option was not something we were very comfortable with but we were contemplating it. Until we saw that we were going to be expected to police peoples health status on behalf of the government via the “Vaccine Passport”.
We felt that was a very unreasonable ask. Especially when it became common knowledge that the passport was not about safety but more about coercion. The government was using their ability to restrict activities as an incentive for more people to accept the vaccine. At that point in time, we decided that we did not want to continue to fight to survive. With no end in sight, how long would we be going deeper in debt to feed our family?We made the decision to sell off all of our equipment, find someone willing to take over our lease and close the business we had worked so hard to create. Not because we had failed at business but because our health officials and politicians had destroyed our business model. Prior to the COVID policies we were on track. Seeing positive growth from year to year. Now we are struggling to get our financial lives back on track after loosing everything we worked hard to create.”