Update #14 from Bruce McDonald

Everyone,

It has now been over two months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and health authorities across North America began instituting social distancing rules and public restrictions everywhere we live and work.

As a company, we are still carefully finding our way through the crisis and gradually picking up steam. It is a maddeningly slow process but there are signs that the wheels are turning better lately. In the past two weeks, we have returned about 300 field people from temporary layoff although we still have 1000 more to go before we return to full capacity. We continue to keep the virus at bay in our workplace. Our six confirmed-cases-to-date equate to a per capita infection rate that is half the Canadian average.

In general, the pandemic trend numbers illustrate improvement but the virus remains stubbornly entrenched. For example, here in Ontario the number of new daily cases remains high and has actually increased during the course of a week when the Province eased restrictions.

Government response to COVID-19 has become an increasingly polarizing issue. Some say our leaders are doing too little and some say they are doing too much. I find it all quite discouraging frankly. I believe it is important to emphasize that the rules are designed to protect human health by containing the spread of the virus. COVID-19 is an extraordinarily complex problem and the speed and breadth of recovery will not be determined by the wisdom of government or legislative decree but by people’s confidence that they are safe outside their homes.

In spite of all the political discord, I observe that the vast majority of people are continuing to exercise caution and good common sense with respect to protecting themselves and their fellow citizens. I encourage all B&M’ers to continue to lead by example with the knowledge that your efforts are making a difference in the collective health of our workplaces and our communities.

We have taken a very hard hit but B&M is standing taller by the day. I remain confident that we can keep the worst of the pandemic behind us if we continue to maintain our vigilant defense and commitment to the common good.

Thanks for everything. Have a good weekend and Happy Memorial Day to our American friends.

Bruce