Today, Ontario has reported another 1172 cases of COVID-19. While this is an encouraging number, I must add an asterisk here to say that we are likely missing some number of cases as Toronto Public Health completes a data migration to Ontario’s centralized tracking system.
This afternoon, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced at a press conference that schools in Toronto will be reopening on February 16, following the Family Day long weekend. Schools in Peel Region and York Region will also be opening on the 16th, and the rest of the currently closed school boards in the province will be reopening on February 8.
The reopening will include some new measures, such as an outdoor masking requirement for students when physical distancing is not possible, mandatory in-class masking now beginning in grade one, and some targeted asymptomatic testing.
To read the full breakdown of the province’s school reopening plan, click here.
While it’s vital that we’re able to reopen schools, it is frustrating that the government continues to fail to implement the kind of safety measures that are being called for by students, parents, staff and experts. It’s not enough to just re-open schools, we need to make sure that they’re safe to open. That’s why I’m calling for capping class sizes at 15, comprehensive in-school testing, and paid sick days and family-care days – so that parents can actually afford to keep their children home if they must.
I will certainly be keeping my eye on any new developments on this file, and I will be sure to share with you any new developments that arise.
As you may know, this week marks the inaugural Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) here in Ontario, following the recent passage of my private members bill, Bill 61. As a part of this education week, I was incredibly glad to be able to spend some time this morning (digitally) with students from McMurrich Junior Public School to discuss EDAW, how the bill came about, and why I chose to run for political office.
It is always great to have a chance to speak with the youth in our riding, and today’s visit was no different. I left feeling optimistic, knowing our future is in good hands.
I also had the opportunity to have another discussion about EDAW, this time with the staff from Skills for Change, an incredible organization that operates here in our community.
I want to send a sincere thanks to the team at Skills for Change for co-ordinating today’s event! Working with you is always a pleasure, and I’m looking forward to another digital event about EDAW with some of the clients of Skills for Change tomorrow!
MPP for Toronto—St. Paul's