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Local business leader 'shocked' at testing levels across country

'It shocks me that right across the country, we do not have the testing in place for immediate ability for people to say 'I'm not feeling well, do I get a test' and not be sidelined for two weeks,' says Greater KW Chamber President
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THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Wilfredo Lee

It seems testing is the key to make the world go around, as we delve into the second wave of COVID-19 across Canada.

Ian McLean, the President of the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce, spoke with The Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS Thursday morning, reacting to Wednesday's throne speech in Ottawa.

He said overall, the speech had something for everyone.

"I'd say there was a lot in there," McLean said, while going on to add a critique regarding the quantity of priorities outlined.

"If you got 29 priorities, you don't really have any."

But when it comes to his takeaways, he put a focus on the lack of testing.

"It shocks me that right across the country, we do not have the testing in place for immediate ability for people to say 'I'm not feeling well, do I get a test' and not be sidelined for two weeks, whether that's a kid going to school, or a parent needing to go to their job," McLean said.

"That needs to be fixed, and it needs to be fixed now."

He said continuous cash flow supports needs to happen so businesses don't go under, which would result in more people losing their jobs.

He said there needs to be a way to keep businesses open, and manage the risks of COVID-19 "because if we shut down, there will be thousands and thousands of businesses that will never open again."

When it comes to the cash flow supports, McLean said he's hopeful more businesses will be able to access them.

For example, he pointed to the rent program, which he called "a failure from the start (because) not enough businesses were able to access it."

But in order for everything to run, McLean emphasized testing needs to catch up so there's nobody sitting in a lineup at 4:00 a.m. every day.

And it plays into the contact tracing issue too, because with faster tests and results, identifying any close contacts can be done quicker.




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