What’s an ‘essential’ business?

It turns out the list is pretty long

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

There’s talk these days about only ‘essential’ businesses being allowed to conduct normal (or even semi-normal) operations. Different provinces are approaching this differently, which may be causing confusion.

In Alberta, the information is on the government website. And – it turns out- the list of what are considered essential businesses is long. Looking at it, it’s hard to see what might not fit into it. Schools and daycares don’t, but they aren’t really businesses. Dine-in restaurants aren’t included, but since they are able to continue offering take-out and delivery service, they don’t have to close down.

‘Close-contact’ businesses are supposed to cease operations. This includes beauty salons of various types and ‘non-critical’ health services.

The list of essential services at alberta.ca includes the following: Health, medical and public health, public safety and security, food and shelter, energy and utilities, water, transportation, industrial, petroleum, natural gas and coal, construction, agriculture and horticulture, retail, financial services, information and telecommunications, public admin. and government.

Under the heading ‘Other essential services’ we find the following: Mailing, shipping, courier (etc.), laundromats, lawyers, engineers (etc), funeral services, land registration, security guards, temp services, veterinarians, animal shelters and such, child care for essential workers, environmental services and waste management services.

All of the above are obliged to observe recommended mitigation measures while remaining in business.

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