Ford says schools won’t be open on April 6

Doug Ford keeps schools closed during COVID-19 pandemic

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says a return to school on April 6th isn’t realistic with the state of the COVID-19 outbreak.

School is currently suspended for this week and next because of the novel coronavirus and Ford was asked by NEWSTALK1010 Monday if the government is already having discussions around potentially cancelling the year and what grades students could be in next year.

He said discussions are going on and they have to monitor the virus, but a return after the next two weeks isn’t happening.

“Do I believe and does the minister believe April 6th kids are going back to school? The kids won’t be going back to school on April 6th,” he said. “We will be making sure that we give a proper time frame, but again, this is changing hour by hour, day by day.”

Earlier in the day, Education Minister Stephen said on NEWSTALK1010 that we should prepare for an extension, as other provinces have taken bigger measures when it comes to education.

“I’m not naïve to what’s happening around us, as soon as I get that advice, I’ll provide that update, but I think people should be prepared and we’re certainly preparing for that extension,” he said.

Lecce’s office provided additional comments later in the day.

“We are currently seeking the advice of Dr. Williams on how long the closure of publicly funded schools should continue,” a spokesperson said after the premier’s comments. “The Minister has been clear, our government will take immediate action to ensure the safety of students and staff, and is preparing for all scenarios.”

Asked how he’ll assess when school could potentially return, Ford while he wants Lecce to take the lead on education, but the public has to be realistic.

“The reality is April 6th is not realistic right now, we’re in a state of emergency,” he said.

Last week, the PCs unveiled educational programming for elementary students to Television Ontario, including shows that teach math, science and language, while high school students can access an online learning portal, which includes applied and academic courses.