Ontario Liberals Demand Action to Safeguard Schools From Any Future Closures

TORONTO – Ontario Liberals are demanding that Doug Ford immediately recalls the Legislature to pass a series of important measures to keep schools open after January 17th. Since extending the closure, he has done almost nothing to make classrooms safer. That needs to end.

“As the father of two daughters who attend publicly funded schools, I support in-person learning and would like schools to reopen,” stated Ontario Liberal Leader, Steven Del Duca. “But that doesn’t mean the work to make them safer is over. Let’s get our kids back in classrooms, but Doug Ford also needs to get back to work and make sure closures never happen again.”

Ontario Liberals are proposing 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 and bringing vaccine clinics to schools.
  • Requiring the government to transparently and publicly report the progress on HEPA filter and N95 deliveries on a school-by-school basis.
  • 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.

“Doug Ford’s preventable school closure was a failure that only caused more chaos and hardship for students and parents,” added Del Duca. “Ontario Liberals are ready to work with the government on these critical measures to safeguard our schools.”

The Ontario Legislature is set to resume in 42 days. Del Duca says that is too long to wait for a plan on school safety.

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