Jun 02, 2021

By Jane Brown

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Toronto’s mayor says he feels that Ontario could enter step one of the current COVID-19 reopening plan sooner than the tentative date of June 14th.

John Tory told CP24 Wednesday morning, Premier Doug Ford has revised previous decisions and he wouldn’t be surprised if that happens this time.

“The answer to the question is yes, that there (are) all kinds of discussion going on about the desirability of opening as soon as possible, and I think if the thresholds are met, they may well at their cabinet meeting when that point in time comes, say yes we can do it now as opposed to some other date that might’ve been set,” Mayor Tory explained.

As Ontario’s Stay At Home order lifts, there is a call by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for the Ford PCs at Queen’s Park to revise their reopening plan effective Wednesday June 2nd.

CFIB President Dan Kelly points out that restaurants have been locked down for 370 days and this needs to change.

“Open at least patio restaurant dining, hair salons, retail capacity, some degree of gym capacity, and then move to much, much faster lifting of COVID restrictions as the Summer progresses,” Kelly requests.

Step one of the reopening plan is tentatively set for June 14th. That’s when the governing Tories are allowing for restaurant patios to reopen, expanded outdoor gatherings to 10 people and 15 percent capacity in non-essential retail.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says this remains the plan explaining, “we’re anticipating that we will hit the milestones that we need to hit by June 14th. We do not anticipate it will be any later than that. Whether we hit those markers sooner remains to be seen. We know that we’ve hit the vaccination rate, which was 60 percent of adults over age 18.”

Tuesday marked the lowest daily COVID-19 case count in Ontario in 8 months at 699.

Outgoing Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams has said he would like to see case counts drop down to between 500 and 600 for multiple days before easing restrictions.

As for in person learning at schools, it is now widely reported Premier Doug Ford is leaning strongly against re-opening schools to in class learning for the remainder of this school year.

An official announcement is expected Wednesday.

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