UDPATE: Ontario Expected to Update School Reopening Plan Today
Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce today whether or not schools in Ontario will reopen to in-person learning this month.
Ford is scheduled to address the media with Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Health Minister Christine Elliott at 1 p.m. this afternoon, which will be carried live on AM800.
Speaking this morning on AM800's The Morning Drive, CTV Queen's Park Bureau Chief Colin D'Mello says part of the expected decision to keep schools closed may have come from the results of a recent poll.
"The poll basically asked people 'would you be willing to delay the economic reopening by a single week if we reopen schools by three weeks' and the the vast majority of people, 56 per cent, had said 'no,' don't risk the economic reopening just for schools, leave schools closed."
D'Mello also points out that this has been a rare occasion where the advice the government is getting is being made in public
"We've heard from the Chief Medical Officer of Health who said he'd been pushing for weeks for schools to reopen and he wanted them open as early as May 1," he says. "We've heard from sick-kids hospital who have been talking about the mental health effects this has been having on children."
D'Mello says yes, the science seems clear, but there is much more that has to go into the decision.
"The economic reopening isn't just about dollars and cents, it's about people as well. It's about making sure that people aren't going to go bankrupt, making sure that people aren't going to lose their mortgages, their houses and their entire livelihoods and put their entire futures at risk here because the province has kept us locked down for such a long time."
Students in Ontario have been doing online learning since April 19.
The schools announcement comes as Ontario's stay-at-home order lifts, but most other public health measures remain in place.
The order enacted in April asked residents to only leave home for reasons deemed essential like exercise, grocery shopping or seeking health care.
As of today, that rule is no longer in effect.