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Hey Adamson Barbecue fans! I'm writing you today to share my side of the story from the last few weeks. My intention is not to diminish the effects that COVID may have had on you or your loved ones, but to shine some light on the unjust laws, disproportionate restrictions on small business, and excessive force used against anyone who challenges the the authoritarian measures put in place by the provincial government.

For those of you who have had my back the last few weeks, thank you for the support. There's a long road ahead and I'm fortunate to have you behind me. If you could place a pre-order during this particularly challenging time, it would help me continue the fight!
Why I opened up against provincial orders
I was well aware of the position I'd be putting myself in by taking this stand. Receiving hundreds of scorning emails, angry social media messages, threats against my family, harassment by the police, and having my name dragged through the mud by the media is not something I look forward to. Despite not being a smart business move, I opened up so I could receive the charges under the Reopening Ontario Act and challenge them in the courts. Our lawyers agree that the government actions have impacted small businesses disproportionately, and violate our charter rights. I am hopeful that we win this fight, and the sacrifice will be for the benefit of other small businesses across the province and country.

Despite having a strong take-out business, my restaurants will not survive extended lockdowns through the Spring (like thousands of others across the country who have already closed for good). All of the Adamson Barbecue locations have thousands of square feet of dining room space, and large parking lots to support those tables. This comes at a price. Despite the pivot to home delivery across the GTA, sales are down over 60%. I cannot maintain the current level of service and overhead costs with these sales numbers.

As a direct result of the lockdowns, I went from employing 55 people in February between two locations, to 26 people between three locations today. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to provide well paid kitchen work and entrepreneurial opportunities for so many people over the years. I feel this opportunity disappearing, with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Tens of thousands of small businesses in Canada have already closed permanently since March, and the CFIB estimates 200,000 more may fail by Spring. Canada now has the highest unemployment in the G7, and Canadians have raked up 400B in credit card debt (8X the highest annual spike in history). Overdose deaths, suicides and domestic violence are on the rise. These consequences of the lockdowns have been accepted by the general public in the name of "safety" and "science".

What "science" are we trusting?
  • 80%+ of Canada's COVID deaths have occurred in long term care facilities. The director of long term care said "from 2017 into 2018 — the numbers are comparable". Where's the excess deaths to justify all these other impacts?
     
  • This video (banned from YouTube) features Dr. Roger Hodkinson. He calls the events of 2020 "the greatest hoax ever perpetuated on an unsuspecting public". He is the a board certified pathologist, CEO of a private medical laboratory, and Chairman of a biotech company that sells COVID-19 tests. 
     
  • This letter by Michael Silvestri outlines the glaring issues with the PCR test (determined to create 97% false positives at 33cT+ by the highest courts in Portugal). Why are we worried about these "positive cases"?
     
  • This video by Mike Yeadon, former VP of Pfizer explains why lockdowns are a mistake
     
  • This article by Brad Lamb presents a number of data points from the CDC, WHO and StatsCan that do not line up with the mainstream narrative.
What happened last week?
There are two sides to every story. I assume you've already seen the negative perspective from the media. Here's a more positive perspective by an independent journalist at Wholehearted Media:
Wholehearted Media: Where's The Beef?
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we had a peaceful, successful lunch service. Hundreds of people assessed the risk, and made their own decisions to visit the restaurant. Tables were spaced 8' apart, distancing from the counter was mandated, sanitizer at the entrance, and all other provincial guidelines- with the exception of allowing in-restaurant dining- were followed.

On Thursday, Eileen Devilla created a closure order, and the City of Toronto (directed by John Tory, who stated "throw the book at him" regarding my business) unlawfully sent over 200 police to the building over the course of the day to secure it. In my opinion, this was an excessive use of force- and the people in attendance agreed. It certainly created tensions between the authorities and my customers. 

I made many promises (including to myself) not to back down- so I entered the building through the back unit and did what I had to do to open the restaurant. This got the police and bylaw to issue the charges under the "Reopening Ontario Act" that I was after. I also found out that the police were willing to throw people on the ground, push through crowds of people in an attempt to enter a building without a warrant, and arrest me ilke a criminal for exercising my right to earn a living.

Take a look at this video from Thursday. How do you feel about this response by the city?
75 Cops Shoulder to Shoulder at Adamson Barbecue Etobicoke
I was arrested on charges of mischief (kicking through the door of my business, that was seized by an unelected doctor) and obstruction (for entering my own business). I was told by several police and lawyers that these charges will normally get you a notice to appear on the spot.  I was brought to the station and detained for 30 hours.

At the station, the police told me that the Crown Attorney for the bail hearing was being advised at a province level on how to set the bail conditions. These conditions are:
  • I must comply with the Re-opening Ontario Act (not open any locations for dine-in service)
  • I must stay 200m from any of my restaurants (makes it challenging to operate the business)
  • I must not post or communicate on social media (What happened to freedom of speech? I consider this charter violation very serious. This email newsletter is my only option to reach my customers at this time.)
While I was detained, a stranger set up a GoFundMe (check out the thousands of comments from donors- they warm my heart!) to collect funds for the inevitable legal battle. I am blown away by the generosity- over $320,000 has been donated so far. I promise to use these funds to defend my charges and challenge the constitutionality of the Reopening Ontario Act, in hopes to turn the tides for small businesses across the province. I will be transparent with how each penny is being spent.
In Conclusion
I knew taking this stand will polarize my customers. This was not a business move. It this causes the accelerated failure of my business, I accept the consequence. I am hopeful that my customers will see my true intentions, continue to support the business and help us retain the few job opportunities we have left at the restaurants. 

You may still believe that I am putting public health at risk by opening my doors, despite overwhelming evidence showing otherwise. You may have unwavering trust in the authorities, despite their initial predictions being off by a factor of 10, repeated contradictions and blatant misrepresentation of data. That's OK, you are entitled to your beliefs. I will point you again to the unsubscribe button below.

I promise I will continue to fight for our freedoms, for small businesses, and for a brighter future for our children. And make the best barbecue in the country while I'm at it. 

I'll send another message tomorrow to address some of the claims made by the media, and some updates on what's happening with the authorities.

Thanks for reading,

Adam
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176 Wicksteed Ave, East York, ON M4G 2B6, Canada

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