May 29, 2020
By Jane Brown
Ontario’s premier is defiant in his rejection of a regional approach to reopening the province’s economy, but Toronto’s Mayor thinks it’s a good idea.
Doug Ford says the province’s chief medical officer of health disagrees with opening some areas of Ontario, because then you will get people from unopened areas travelling to the areas that have opened, potentially spreading COVID-19.
But John Tory said this morning, it makes sense for the areas that have very few cases of COVID-19, or none at all.
“If the public health people have gotten together, which they have, all 34 medical officers of health from across the province, and said to the province, we would think it is appropriate to look at something which is more regionally based,” Tory explained on Friday to CP24, “It doesn’t have to be that one part is open and one part is closed indefinitely, but maybe you could have a much longer period of the implementation of the next stage to allow a Toronto or GTA to take a little longer as opposed to some other part of the province.”
The Greater Toronto Area accounts for two thirds of Ontario’s cases of COVID-19, leaving large areas of the province relatively unscathed.
There are far fewer new coronavirus cases in Kenora, Algoma, North Bay, Parry Sound, Sudbury, Kingston, Renfrew, Huron-Perth, Prince Edward County and most of southwestern Ontario outside of Windsor.
Premier Ford is rejecting the regional approach of opening up, as is being done in Quebec, Manitoba and New York State. He says he’s being encouraged by MPPs in his caucus and cabinet to change his approach and begin regional reopenings.