Statement on the Province's Re-opening Measures
Today, the Ontario Government announced plans for a second stage of re-opening. I am relieved that the Province has agreed to adopt a regional approach based on local indicators. But I’m also concerned that we don’t have all the information and systems in place we need just yet.
I know that we can't stay locked in our homes forever. The reality is that we're going to have to learn to live with the ongoing threat of COVID-19. The virus will not go away next week, next month, or even likely next year. This is a risk we will all have to manage every single day.
As the Province and cities re-open, we will see more cases of COVID-19. We will experience new outbreaks, and we will, sadly, see deaths. With no vaccine or proven treatment for this virus, this is inevitable. Our residents, in particular the most vulnerable, are counting on us to proceed with caution.
Let me be clear: learning to live with the threat of COVID-19 does not mean accepting needless risk or unnecessary deaths. All of us – governments, individuals, businesses, and organizations – can and must do our part to keep the virus under control.
What we need to re-open safely: a better testing and lab reporting system province-wide; clear indicators and evidence for staged re-opening; and more data on who is most impacted by COVID-19.
It is vitally important that we continue to preserve the public’s trust in government decision-making. Governments need to make it clear that our decisions will not put people at unnecessary risk. This will only be possible if we provide clear and transparent evidence and rationale every step of the way.