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Ontarians waiting for answers from Ford on safe reopening

May 19, 2021


QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement on the lack of clarity from Ford on a plan for reopening:

“We are now less than two weeks away from the end of the stay-at-home order, yet there is still no clarity on what a safe reopening could look like.

I’m calling on Doug Ford to release clear, transparent metrics and benchmarks for reopening schools, businesses and amenities based on:

  • vaccination rates, especially in hotspot zones
  • testing positivity rates and case counts
  • health care system capacity

This is what public health experts have indicated as key metrics to look at for a safe reopening.

I’m also repeating my call for Ford to immediately reopen safe outdoor spaces for the sake of equity and mental and physical health.

Other jurisdictions around the world and within Canada have provided clear, easy to follow guidance on what a safe reopening would look like. But there is still nothing for Ontarians to look to, and Ford is leaving us with more questions than answers.

Businesses need ample time to prepare to reopen safely.

And teachers and families need clarity on whether they can expect a return to school before the summer.

Transparency and predictability is key if we want to open safely, and stay open.

Additionally, any reopening must be accompanied with increased capacity for testing, contact tracing, supported isolation and quarantine, and outbreak management, as public health experts have been calling for.

Ford needs to make sure our workplaces and schools are safe by investing in the necessary measures like proper ventilation and adequate PPE.

Any reopening must be done safely, through the advice of the Science Table, and transparently communicated to the public. We have to get it right. Or we risk being launched back into the constant cycle of reopening and closing.”