New restrictions under Ontario’s Stay-at-Home order have prohibited the purchase of “non-essential” items in stores like Dollarama, and some people are annoyed.
For the next four weeks, restrictions on what can be sold at big box and discount stores have limited them to sell only grocery items, pet care supplies, household cleaning supplies, pharmaceutical items, healthcare items, and personal care items.
Though the limitations were made to curb the potential desire to head outdoors for anything other than what is needed, many took to Twitter to express their worries over what is deemed “essential” for those who rely on everyday purchases at Dollarama.
#Dollarama is essential to low income folks. Folks in legislated poverty rely on Dollarama to get things that others can afford to buy elsewhere.
By Ontario restricting the ability to purchase these items (e.g kitchen, school, bathroom, etc) it denies folks access to essentials. pic.twitter.com/YARDG9CLgv
— Sarah Colero🥄 (@Sarah_Colero) April 8, 2021
Someone I follow posted this this on Instagram. Dollarama doesn’t do curbside pickup. So, there goes any hopes of accessible school supplies during exam seasons and for law students, bar studying pic.twitter.com/t2qYi8ibD2
— Lawin (@LawinSalah) April 8, 2021
The thing this pisses me off about the Dollarama non essential list, is the fact that it’s a huge middle finger to those living in poverty. Most can not afford to order from Walmart and Amazon. Way to f around with the poor…again! #dollarama #Essentials
— CamsPortraits46 (@portraits46) April 8, 2021
The main issues raised highlight the unaffordability of other retailers for low-income families and students on a budget.
While kitchen utensils, school supplies, or bathroom supplies from Dollarama are not considered essential for some, several argue that products are essential to these groups.
Unlike other retailers, Dollarama does not offer curbside pick-up. This leaves shoppers to resort to online orders, which can require a minimum purchase or subscription.
Earlier this week, Toronto and Peel ordered schools to close for two weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19, leaving students to learn from home.
If it’s too dangerous to buy school supplies at Dollarama maybe the schools shouldn’t be open? pic.twitter.com/W2hVcvXnCP
— Michelle Shaughnessy (@Michellesfunny) April 8, 2021
So. Schools are open but you can’t buy school supplies at Dollarama. pic.twitter.com/8fa3FQE5sW
— Taylor Shanahan (@mmeshanahan) April 8, 2021
kind of confused why they chose to keep Dollarama open if you can’t buy 90% of their products? you’re already in the store? forcing people to only one or two isles makes it MORE safe? youre discriminating against low income familes and those who cant shop online. but okay? go on.
— n ㋐ t ✨ (@celeryjacket) April 8, 2021
In an email to Daily Hive, Dollarama states that they are committed to following the rules put in place by the provincial government and stay hopeful that they will soon be able to sell these products once the restrictions are lifted.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, Dollarama has been a weekly destination for affordable everyday necessities for millions of Canadians. We are committed to maintaining this essential role while also adhering to evolving government orders in the face of a persistent virus,” said the Dollarama representative.
“We moved quickly yesterday following the announcement of new emergency measures effective yesterday, and we sincerely thank all our customers for their patience and understanding in what continues to be extremely difficult circumstances for Canadians from all walks of life. We look forward to once again providing our full assortment as soon as these temporary measures are lifted.”
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As frustrating as it is for some, Premier Doug Ford remains optimistic that the next four weeks will make a difference as he hopes 40% of Ontario adults will be vaccinated by then.
“I promise you better days are ahead of us,” said Ford at a news conference Wednesday.