Ontario opposition leaders call for clarity on back-to-school plan amid Omicron spread

Critics are calling on the Ontario authorities to supply readability on the deliberate return to high school subsequent week amid record-high COVID-19 infections.

Premier Doug Ford has stated an announcement is coming inside days on whether or not colleges will resume in individual on Monday, because the Omicron variant strains public well being sources comparable to contact tracing and testing.

NDP Chief Andrea Horwath says the federal government ought to have used the vacation interval to make colleges safer with plans for normal testing, higher masks and improved air flow.

She says it’s “ridiculous” that households are nonetheless in the dead of night with lessons set to renew in just a few days.

“… Ford is sitting on his fingers, refusing to handle Omicron,” Horwath wrote in a tweet.

Liberal Chief Steven Del Duca says the federal government hasn’t taken sufficient measures to make colleges safer after closing them for lengthy intervals of time earlier within the pandemic.

“Doug Ford’s incompetent pandemic administration has already disrupted two college years for our youngsters,” said Del Duca.


“As the daddy of two daughters attending public colleges, I perceive the anxiousness mother and father are going through proper now, and I can’t consider Doug Ford let it get thus far once more.”

A spokeswoman for Schooling Minister Stephen Lecce says the federal government is dedicated to defending college students, employees and households, however didn’t give a particular date for the choice on colleges opening subsequent week.

Ontario Inexperienced Occasion Chief Mike Schreiner says mother and father and youngsters are being left in the dead of night.

“The Ford authorities has failed to speak and did not take the required steps to make colleges safer. The outcome: mother and father are going through one other January of uncertainty and confusion about whether or not their children will return to high school, educators are pressured to scramble to organize, and lots of children are anxious,” he stated.

“Colleges ought to be the primary place to open and [the] final place to shut. Children need to be studying in protected lecture rooms. It’s very important for his or her high quality of studying and psychological well being.”

Dr. Ripudaman Minhas, a developmental pediatrician with the Ladies’s and Kids’s Well being Program at St. Michael’s Hospital, stated in a mid-December interview with the Ontario Medical Affiliation (OMA) the pandemic expertise has been notably onerous on kids.

Those that have been born within the final two years have recognized nothing else, he stated.

“The influence of college disruptions is just not absolutely evaluated. We’re seeing what we name the ‘pandemic pause’ in youngster improvement — a pause in socialization, training, lecturers.”

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