Patrick Brown urges Ford, Trudeau not to 'pick a date out of thin air' for relaxing COVID-19 measures
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, May 13, 2020 11:11AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 13, 2020 1:01PM EDT
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown urged Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stick to the science when it comes to gradually reopening the economy, saying the coronavirus situation in the GTA is different than the rest of the province and public health advice must be respected.
“Politicians should not pick a date out of thin air, we should be governed by science, our actions should be dictated by what public health deems is the safest,” Brown said during his weekly address to the city on Wednesday.
Yesterday, Premier Ford said that the province would enter a new stage of reopening on Thursday.
The province’s chief medical officer then said the province wouldn’t be ready for more relaxing of rules on Thursday, prompting Ford’s office to clarify that more details about reopening would be offered on Thursday, but nothing new would actually go into effect.
Worries were exacerbated when Trudeau brought up the U.S. border, saying new screening measures would be used when it reopened but not saying if the existing ban on non-essential travel would be renewed after it expires later this month.
Brown said he’s had multiple conversations with other GTA mayors, who also feel things should move more slowly.
“There may be calls in smaller communities and rural areas to reopen right away; I certainly don’t feel that in Brampton or in the GTA,” Brown said. “I’ve been on regular calls with fellow GTA mayors and we all believe that it’s essential we listen to public health.”
Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward added to that sentiment, saying a rush to reopen could put us right back where we started.
“Don’t be too gung-ho to reopen because we’ve seen the devastating effects around the world when that happens.”
On Monday, Ontario allowed retailers with on-street access were allowed to begin sales.
Over last weekend, provincial parks reopened for daytime use, along with garden centres and hardware stores.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams has said Ontario’s reproductive rate for novel coronavirus infection is now below one, meaning it is on a path of long-term decline, but said recent encouraging data needs to be seen for a longer period.