Ontario Liberals Call for Universal Vaccinations in Schools

TORONTO – Ontario Liberals are calling out Doug Ford for failing to safeguard our schools during their latest lockdown. For weeks, Ontario Liberals have demanded that Doug Ford use this time to improve safety, including universal vaccinations for students and an in-school testing program.

“Millions of children have received the vaccine with no adverse effects. Dr. Moore’s statement feeds vaccine hesitancy,” stated Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca, in response to Dr. Moore’s comments about universal vaccinations. “As the province’s top doctor he should be fighting that not feeding it. If he doesn’t clarify his comments he should go.”

“Doug Ford’s school shutdown was the result of his cheapskate Conservative policies. He’s only caused more chaos and hardship for students and parents,” added Del Duca. “Doug Ford didn’t use this time to make classrooms safer like Ontario Liberals have repeatedly called on him to do.”

“As the father of two daughters who attend publicly funded schools, I support in-person learning and would like schools to reopen. But Doug Ford has done more to cover up COVID cases than he has to make classrooms safe. It’s time for Doug Ford to stop hiding, bring back exposure notifications and case reporting in schools and daycares, and get to work on making sure our kids never face another chaotic closure again.”

Ontario Liberals have proposed the following immediate moves to help prevent future closures:

  • Adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of universal vaccinations for students, covered under the Immunization of School Pupils Act.

  • Requiring the government to transparently and publicly report the progress on HEPA filter and N95 deliveries on a school-by-school basis, and resume exposure notifications and case reporting.

  • Implementing a strong vaccine mandate for all education and childcare workers while prioritizing them for boosters.

  • Establishing a rapid testing program in schools while making PCR testing free and accessible to all families with children in schools.

  • Passing MPP John Fraser’s Bill 7, to give all workers 10 paid sick days, which would ensure parents can isolate if their children are exposed.

  • Launching an education campaign to combat misinformation and promote vaccine confidence among parents.

With the Ontario Legislature set to resume in 41 days, Del Duca is pushing Ford for an early recall. “There is no time to wait when cases continue to surge while schools will be open. We need to return to the Legislature so that we can pass any emergency legislation required to safeguard schools from the fifth wave.”

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