Donna Gabriel, a mother of two, is anxious for school to resume.
“I don’t know anybody who isn’t,” she said.
Her daughter Emma is entering Grade 10.
“I worry about her being in a mask all day; I don’t know how she’s going to do it.”
Cases in Ottawa continue to climb, adding to Gabriel’s worry.
Charles Pascal, a former Deputy Minister of Education, told CTV News Channel the province isn’t listening to science.
He said the number of parents choosing to keep their kids at home highlights their lack of confidence in the province’s return-to-school plan.
“The premier is disputing with the unions, but he’s also disputing with scientists, including epidemiologists, education experts, front line educational leaders, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario,” Pascal said.
Last week, the province received an avalanche of disapproval on its reopening plan, including major teachers’ unions announcing they were filing complaints with the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Ontario’s Liberal Party launched a whistleblowing website to identify potential problems. The NDP is calling on Ontario’s ombudsman to review whether the return-to-school plan safe.
Speaking with CP24 on Monday, Ontario’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce said he’s proud of his government’s plan.
“We’ve taken an evidence-approach at this time to make sure province-wide the resources are there, every single school board. I’m proud,” he said.
“They have the full resources, more than I think many of them could have conceived months ago.”
Gabriel says her daughter will not be riding the bus and while she’s opted her for in-person learning, that decision could change.
“It’s a gamble.”