Mayor urges residents to be respectful as retail stores reopen

Mayor Greg Dionne said he’s been disappointed with some of the behavior he’s seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he’d like to see that change as retail stores begin to reopen.

Dionne said there are too many shoppers who are rude and disrespectful to workers at gas stations, grocery stores and drive-thru restaurants. He thinks residents should be thanking those people for going to work during an outbreak, not berating them.

“I don’t want to paint it like it’s our whole city,” Dionne said during a phone interview. “It’s just a small minority, but it’s that small minority that I end of dealing with and it frustrates me. At the end of the day, we want everyone to have a healthy and good life. That’s our goal.”

Dionne made the comments on Friday while promoting the virtues of shopping local. He’s concerned too many residents have become used to shopping at big box stores, or ordering online during the pandemic. He hopes residents will return to small mom and pop stores once they reopen.

“This is the problem: we’re creatures of habit,” he said.

When shoppers return after retail stores have reopened, Dionne wants them to show their appreciation. He said he’s not the only person fed up with the disrespectful attitudes he’s seeing.

“They’ve seen the rudeness of people at drive-thrus and grocery stores, which has shocked me,” he said. “We should be lifting those people up and thanking them, but instead, we’re complaining (and saying) ‘well, do you know how long I had to wait in line?’ You know what I say to people? You’re lucky there was a line…. I’m appreciative that there’s a line. That means we can get service.”

Clothing stores, flower shops, sporting goods stores, jewelry stores, pawn shops and electronics stores are among the retail businesses that are allowed to re-open on Tuesday as part of the provincial government’s Reopen Saskatchewan Plan.

Select personal care services like barber shops, salons, massage therapists and acupuncturists are also allowed to re-open.

Restaurants, gyms, fitness centres, bars, pubs and child care facilities will not reopen until phase three. That date has not been determined.

The cap on public gatherings sizes will also increase from 10 to 15 when phase three is implemented. Golf courses, provincial parks, campgrounds and restricted medical services were all opened as part of phase one.