Loren Remillard, President & CEO, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce

Loren Remillard

Throughout the pandemic, I’ve seen families juggle writing business reports from home while also doing book reports with their kids. Every day, I hear from business owners with stressed voices, struggling to maintain the health and well-being of their business and staff, while their own well-being suffers from the crushing weight.

Like all Manitobans, I can relate to the disruption of routine and stress of not knowing when this pandemic will end. I’ve had to build a home office and get used to the clash of personal and professional during my workday.

The day of my vaccine appointment, I couldn’t wait to get to the pharmacy. I was watching the clock in anticipation, excited because I was about to be part of history.

Once vaccinated, I felt such a sense of relief and accomplishment. A pandemic can lead a person to feel quite powerless, but getting the vaccine made me feel like I had done something tangible to fight back.

We all want to get back to the way things were before COVID-19, and the fastest way forward is getting as many people vaccinated as soon as possible. As Canadians, we have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but with rights come responsibilities, and we have a responsibility to each other.

I recently spoke with owners of a family business who had to close their doors due to the pandemic. While they were obviously devastated to shut down a family business that had spanned three generations, they were even more upset knowing their 40 employees could be out of work. Being a business owner is challenging in so many ways, and as a community we have a special role and responsibility to each other and to our staff.

Despite the hardships, or maybe because of them, I’ve been remarkably inspired seeing Manitobans rally behind our local businesses and each other. Please continue to do your part and create a climate where businesses can reopen and welcome you into their stores.

There are so many reasons — economically, socially, and family-wise — to get the vaccine.
So as a community, let’s try to get every single Manitoban vaccinated. The higher the number, the more security, confidence, and assurance we’re going to have to help local businesses open. Let’s not just cross the finish line, let’s triple jump it!

We’re living history right now, so let’s make sure the story ends well.

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Additional Resources

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine from official sources.