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Timmins business community reacts to province lifting pandemic health rules

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It was a happy Valentine's Day for Dominic Flaminio of the Porcupine Dante Club. As the general manager hosted 100 sweethearts over two dinner sittings.

He's also heard the news that COVID-19 public health restrictions are lifting sooner, which means the club can get back to doing what it does best--hosting banquets--as it's been tough the past two years.

"The no dancing (restriction)…so a lot of weddings got impacted, so I didn’t book any weddings for almost two years ...The ones we did do were outside catering," said Flaminio.

He said support from clients and financial subsidies from the Ontario government have carried the organization through the pandemic. Now, he's excited to be moving forward.

"I have a few more Saturdays in the summer to book up and if I can book those two up, I’ll have a full summer this summer for the first time in three years," Flaminio said.

The province said it will also lift proof of vaccination requirements as of March 1, but businesses and other settings may choose to continue with that rule.

"At the end of the day, if the business owner wishes or chooses to leave certain safety measures in place, they’re welcome to do so, so long as you know they don’t infringe on anybody’s particular discriminatory rights or at least are within the lines of the Ontario Human Rights Code and Commission," said Cameron Grant, senior policy analyst government and stakeholder relations with the Timmins Chamber of Commerce

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce said the plan to reduce restrictions will only be successful if it is accompanied by the necessary measures to support business predictability, build public confidence and sustain the re-opening. 

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