Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, have decided to send their kids back to school, a few weeks after Trudeau admitted they were still grappling with the decision.
The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed to CTV News on Thursday that, for now, Trudeau’s three children have returned in-class learning. All of Trudeau's children attend public school in Ontario.
During a press conference in mid-August to announce the prorogation of Parliament, Trudeau said that his family was in the midst of “very active discussions” on whether to return to school.
“I know that lots of parents are going to be watching carefully what their local school and school board’s plans are going to be. And there is a lot of reflection in a lot of households, including mine, as to what’s going to happen when September rolls around,” he said.
Trudeau added at the time that he has personal friends who are parents who were also working through the decision.
“We are looking at what the school’s plans are, we’re looking at class sizes, we’re looking at how the kids are feeling about wearing masks,” he said.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and his wife also plan to send their two children back to school.
“I have a lot of confidence in our schools and the plans that are being made,” O’Toole told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday.
O’Toole added that isolation was “very hard” on children and that he thinks the best approach is for students to return to school with proper safety protocols in place.
“We have mental wellness concerns if kids are secluded and not having that social interaction. So let’s do sanitation, let’s do proper distancing, let’s get it right, but we need to make sure kids are in school.”
Several provinces are still at odds with teachers’ unions about back-to-school plans, with advocates in Ontario and Alberta insisting that the provincial governments need to invest in smaller class sizes to keep students and teachers safe.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford lashed out at the head of one of the province’s largest teachers unions on Wednesday, saying he would rather listen to doctors and epidemiologists than someone "with a degree in English literature who thinks he is a doctor.”
Last week, the federal government announced up to $2 billion in funding to help schools reopen safely.
They grow up so fast - Hadrien starts the first grade today. Have a great first day, big guy. And to all the kids heading back to school: it’ll be a bit different this year, but remember you’ve still got what it takes to do great things. pic.twitter.com/OOFqEpQ7gK— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 3, 2020