May 20, 2021

By Jane Brown

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There is some last minute lobbying going on ahead of Premier Doug Ford’s reopening announcement Thursday at 3pm.

We’re expecting to learn when the outdoor activities ban will be lifted, possibly before the long weekend or on Tuesday, along with a change in the outdoor gathering criteria, reportedly to as many as five people from different households.

It’s expected to be another month before larger outdoor gatherings will be allowed and restaurant patios opened.

A letter has been sent to the premier from the Ontario Hospital Association, saying several factors should be considered in plans to ease COVID-19 related restrictions, including vaccination coverage and supply, disease incidence and an understanding of infection sources.

The letter says the reopening plan should be evidence based and focused on limiting spread of COVID-19 and must include equitable access for marginalized communities.

Ontario’s Liberal leader is also weighing on what he would like to see in the reopening plan.

Steven Del Duca explained on Tuesday morning it needs to be a recovery led by small business.

“We need our small businesses in communities right across Ontario, Main Streets everywhere, to have the full support of the government, the full support of everyone in this province, so that they can get their employment back up, so they can earn the kind of income they need to support themselves and their family and be the leading edge of our economic recovery,” Del Duca outlined.

Del Duca says there also needs to be a clear plan for in person learning at schools for the rest of this school year and when the new school year begins in September.

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