Premier Ford provides a COVID-19 update | August 5
Well good afternoon. Over the past few weeks. I visited, dozens, of communities, spoken to small business owners. With the biggest hearts. And thanked our volunteers. Who are making a real difference in our communities. There have been, countless, stories, about true generosity. And compassion. Of the true ontario, spirit. Shining brightly, through these dark times. Stories, like royal canadian, legion volunteers. In brighton. Who created a wall of hearts, to thank our frontline, workers. A legion hall in aurora. Who offered their facilities. Early in the crisis. So people could donate blood. Or, a hundred thousand dollar donation. To. Project. Trauma, support, in perth, to help veterans. And first responders. Wrestling, with post-traumatic. Stress disorder. Friends. I just love our legion halls, of being a member of branch 286. For years. Not only, do they lead us in honoring, our heroes. But they do incredible, work, in our communities. Educating, our young people, providing, services, to veterans, and their families. And giving back to their communities, in so many ways. The same is true, of many other charities. In non-profits. Our food banks. Children, youth services. Church groups. And many many others. That work has been absolutely, critical. Throughout this crisis, the volunteers, at our legion branches. The volunteers. At our food banks. The people delivering, meals, to our seniors. And those with disabilities. They have all been true heroes. And thank you from the bottom of my heart. Are legion halls, food banks. And charities. They are the bedrock. Of our communities. They provide hot meals. Groceries. Peer support, and counseling. Housing, supports. Care for seniors, and programs, for children and youth. For every aspect. Of physical, and mental well-being. They are there. For those who need it most. And above all, they build a sense of community. That you're not alone. We will all get through this together. Because we have each other's backs. We will all have a role to play in supporting their work. Whether it's volunteering, our time. Donating, a few dollars. Or asking friends and family, to help out. Inspired, by the ontario, spirit. Our government, has a role to play too. That's why i'm proud to announce today. We'll be investing. 83. Million dollars. In the new resilient, communities, fund. Through the ontario, trillium foundation. This funding. Will help, non-profit, organizations. Build their fundraising, capacity. Recruit more volunteers. Provide, physical, and mental health supports, for staff. Develop, health and safety plans. And buy new equipment, or renovate, their facilities. To better serve their clients and communities. We need, those top-notch, organizations. To continue, supporting, and strengthening. Our communities. As they recover. From the impacts of covet 19. And as more parts of ontario, enter stage 3. They'll be there to help people get back on their feet. My friends. We're all in this together. Let's keep, that ontario spirit going, thank you, and god bless the people of ontario. Now i'll hand it over to minister macleod. Thank you premier, the royal canadian, legion is valued, part of ontario's, history, and our culture. Not to mention an integral, part of many communities. Communities that ontario's, non-profits, work to strengthen. Through numerous programs, and seniors programs, arts and culture initiatives, and much more. That's why this investment. Made through the ontario trillium foundation, is so important. It will provide grants to help eligible, legion branches, and non-profits. Respond, to the new challenges, created by the kovid, 19, pandemic. Our government, recognizes. How deeply. The kovid 19 outbreak, has affected. Ontario's, non-profit. Sector. From loss of revenue, as a result of cancelled fundraisers, to disruption, of services. To community members. To loss of income by staff. We know that the pandemic, has made it difficult, for the sector to continue operating. That's why we're taking action, to support initiatives. Like the resilient. Communities, fund. That are making such a positive, contribution, to communities, across ontario, during this trying time. As we gradually, reopen, this province, it is critical. That we get to our local communities. Back up and running, on their feet by supporting, the dedicated, men. And women, who selflessly, give their time to various, causes, across the province. I've seen firsthand, how important legion halls are to the communities, they serve. And i'm honored, to champion, them. I deeply value the connections, i've made. The stories, i've listened to and the experiences. I've, been a part of, at legion halls across ontario.
Just Like my own branch 641. In bar haven just outside of ottawa. I encourage all legion branches, and non-profit, organizations. Who may need assistance, to contact. The ontario trillium foundation. Or visit. Dot www.otf.com. For more information. Thank you. We're going to go to the phone line for questions just a reminder, that it's one question and one follow-up. Your first question comes from colin demello, with ctv, news please go ahead, hi colin. Hi hi good afternoon premiere um just had a question about the federal, uh, announcement, today that canada will be procuring. Millions of, doses of vaccines. Do you know or what is your hope in terms of ontario's. Share of that you've said in the past that you always wanted to be per capita. Has there been any discussion, of that thus far. Not in depth not to that point but, we, do expect 38. Of anything the feds distribute, throughout the. The country, we would like to see 38. Of those vaccines. And we'll have a further discussion, with, the deputy. Prime minister. Follow-up. All right and, on another, topic, on um education. There are still a lot of parents who are you know very concerned, about the return, to school, and. Yesterday, you didn't really provide, any kind of alternative. Plan here other than to say, you know parents you can keep your kids, at home if you choose, that obviously, isn't. You know an adequate solution for a lot of parents who live in you know at-risk communities, where they may be a single-parent, household, don't necessarily, have the means to keep their children at home so for parents who are still feeling uncomfortable, about this plan. Is there any way before, september, that your government is going to consider. Cutting class sizes, in elementary, schools, down. Well, well, colin, first of all let's address the class sizes right off the the hop, um and i'm going to read, off these notes, which i usually don't but there's a lot of numbers here. So anywhere in kindergarten. We have capped, at 30. Students, and that's with an ece. And a teacher, so that's the lowest in the country, other provinces, might have a capped at 20 but they have one teacher. We have the lowest, in the entire country when it comes to grades, one and three. Capped at at twenty. Uh grades four to eight is twenty four and a half the average. And nine to twelve is is twenty three, we have the lowest cohorts. In the entire. Country, at uh, fifteen, when we see, bcs, at 60 and i think it goes up to 120, or 130.. We we have more guidelines, in place than anyone, in the entire country. And as i said yesterday, as much as yes we we rely, on. On. Consulting. With. Sickkids, hospital. And, in public health and our health table, and chio, and everyone else, at the end of the day call them i'm responsible. And. You know going into september, and september. Talk about losing sleep. That's my number one priority, to protect the kids and i'll do whatever it takes to, protect the kids i saw an article which which was very interesting. Parents in bc. Were touting ontario's, plan. Saying we want ontario's, plan, we put in more guidelines. More consultation, with scientists, from, from health care, to, you name it. But at the end of the day, who's responsible. This guy right here i'm responsible. And we'll do everything we can. To to make sure, that we protect these kids and. I, i feel we got the best advice, i personally feel i'm a little biased but uh we have the best plan in the entire country. And, we have two options here. We bring the kids into school which i'm hearing vast majority of the parents want, to get, back to, the, normal. Or new normal. Or, you keep your kids at home and and you do online, courses. So they're, really the the two options here we have uh. Scenarios, that may pop up in in, september, october november with flu season. Uh we're gonna have to uh react, and those are the three scenarios, we gave. Before, but we're doing everything we can and i'm not holding back on, on on a penny here uh as, i mentioned before. And again i apologize. Uh for running through these numbers. Here reading them off but there's a lot of numbers, uh school reopening, 309. Million dollars we're putting more money per student, than anywhere, in the entire country, bar none. Ppe, 60 million dollars additional. Staffing, 80 million dollars, cleaning supplies 25, million.
500, And this is so important, this is the best. That you don't see anywhere else in the country, 500, new public nurses, at 50 million dollars. And then 10 million, for, for children with special needs which is super important. Uh taking care of the kids with special needs so that's just, some of the items. And we're all going to have to work together is it going to be perfect, no. You put 2 million. Of anyone, not to mention students in a system, and 160. 000 teachers. You know we we have to uh we have to be prepared. And i feel we are and i just want to thank all the people that we consulted, with, but make no mistake about it at the end of the day, it's, my responsibility. And i'll make sure i do anything, to keep our kids safe and i mean anything, to make sure that they're safe. Next question. Your next question comes from lucas meyer with news talk 1010. Please go ahead. Thank you very much uh good afternoon premier, and this is a little bit to start off of what colin was just asking about because specifically, on class size as you mentioned. Uh you've been relying on sick kids as part of the plan but it does say, and i'm quoting smaller class sizes, should be a priority, strategy, as it will aid in physical distancing. This is all stuff we know. But considering, at this point that they're not completely, off the table depending on what the boards do my question is the 310. Million that you just talked about. Is that it is that the final cash amount. Being handed out and boards are gonna have to do what they can with it or. If they came and said hey we need more to ensure safety could you write another check, well that's that's throughout this whole pandemic. You say this is about as much as we have and then it turns into a crisis, and. You have to put more money in but again i've, proven to the public, it's not about dollars and cents when it comes to me on this pandemic. Uh you know we, spent a fortune, making sure that, we're in the position that we're in right now and. To protect, everyone, now, our, focus, is to make sure we protect our, our children. So i'll say. I'll never say never put it that way, but, this is the budget we've laid out it's the largest in the country it's the largest, per, per pupil. In the entire country so. I think we're. I think we're pulling our weight to say, say the least. Follow up, thank you very much and premier is still with education, but on the technical side, obviously, you want lots of people really everyone. To download, the tracing app, i'm curious, if because, of the proximity. Needs. You may lift the current cell phone band rules that came into place back in november, if you think, uh it'll lead to more accurate, readings, uh is that something that you're potentially. Looking at doing well we, we can look at that and i understand, when when. You put these apps out not everyone's, gonna. Uh upload, them and and they're giving me ballpark, uh percentages. But even a small percentage, really helps out. No matter even if it's 10, let's say and i'm, i'm just throwing those numbers out it could be 20 could be 50.. But i encourage everyone to download, it and, even 10, really helps the the system tremendously. If someone has, coveted, at least we can track it and trace it and get in contact, with them. So i think, this is. Again i think it's a no-brainer, download it if you can. And, uh. We're going to be able to trace it so much easier. This is the reason we're. We're doing so well because, everyone in ontario is listening. Uh vast majority of people. Um. But we're we're doing fairly well but we can't take our eye off the balls i say every press conference. We have to keep going. But i think the case is over the 81, or 80. 86. We're doing pretty good overall. Next question. Your next question comes from mike crowley with cbc, news please go ahead. Hi mike, i have been here another question about education. Um. So you keep saying that you're not going to spare. Any expense. And. The sick kids report does say that smaller class sizes, are key. Why is the government, not providing, the funding, to allow, for. 15. Children. In each cohort, in elementary. Schools, i think that's a number that people, have been. They see it at the secondary, level. Why are you not providing, the funding to allow for. 15. Students, per class, at the elementary, level, okay so the elementary, level all week.
We're Going back to jk, we have the lowest in the country. We have 15.. You want to take two teachers divide 30 by two that's that's 15.. Grades one one two three, is is twenty it's the lowest in the country. We've given, uh, the school boards across the the province, eighty million dollars if they need some additional, staffing. For the lower grades. It's there. So. I think it's a good plan, i don't, you know we could we could play, armchair, quarterback, all day long everyone. But at the end of the day. I'm relying, on sick kids, geo. Public health, health table, that's who i'm relying on, the health and the science when it comes down to this, i keep saying, over this whole pandemic, i'm not the health expert i'm no scientist. But i rely on some of the brightest minds in the entire country. To help us out and get us through this. So, there's 80 million dollars sitting there on the on the table for people that need the support now keep in mind. Everyone, thinks, one size fits all. And. You know we live in a bubble to a certain degree in toronto, and. And we don't think anywhere else exists, well i'm sorry. We're a fraction, of the population. It's important. Part of the of ontario, but we're 20, in toronto. How about 80 percent that all live in the rural areas. That they haven't seen cases in months. So we're, trying to adopt, and make sure everyone. Uh. You know is is comfortable. And i i get it not all parents are going to be uh 100, comfortable. I wish i had the just the magical, wand say everyone's. Going to be perfectly, fine, but. Let's see we're, relying, on the best health minds in the country. Follow-up. So for premiere for those parents who choose not to send their kids into school and they select the fully online option, how are you getting sure that the quality, of the instruction. That the kids receive is better. Than what happened in the spring, well mike first of all i always believe there's nothing better than in class, teaching. There's nothing better than that. On online, as a substitute, for, for in-class, teaching. But it all depends, on on the teacher, again. If we have, and i believe we have great teachers. Uh, you have 160. 000 of them you're going to have. You know, vast majority, are great teachers. You're going to have the odd. The odd teachers not as good as the others but. Again it's proven over and over again, it's proven, when you went to school mike or i went to school, when you have a phenomenal. Teacher. You just seem to do better in their class. When you have a lousy teacher, and there's very few of them in my opinion, we have great teachers here. Then you aren't going to do as well, it's, as, clear as day. Next. Question. Your next question comes from cynthia mulligan with city news please go ahead. Hi cynthia. Hello premier how are you today. Good well they've lined up all the heavy hitters one after the other, so you're going to be clean up on the fourth, hitter. Okay go ahead, that's my role today okay, all right i'm going to stick with education. Because as as, my predecessors. Have noticed my colleagues, have noted that the sick kids plan, specifically. Does say that smaller, classes. Should be a priority. And yet you keep saying you're relying, on, on the expert, advice. From sick kids so there's a disparity, there like. Are are you passing the buck when, no not at all cynthia. If, if it was up to all of us we'd have five kids in a classroom. But in in saying that. Uh we have the lowest. Amount of kids, in jk in the country. We have the the lowest kids, from from grades one to three in the in the country. We have 15, kids. Equivalent, to 15 kids. For, every, uh, every teacher, or ece. So we're doing pretty good let's give this a shot. At least, and when i hear people from bc. Uh, chanting that they want the ontario. Plan. That's not bad. You know, bbc. Is is. Doing, doing well but they don't have. Half the guidelines, that that we have we have some stringent, guidelines. More than anyone else in the country. So we're we're going to give it everything we can, and. Make sure that. That. We move forward and. Pray to god that uh. Everyone's safe that that's that's. That's what i i want, just the kids to be safe. Follow up. I give you that premiere you are getting accolades, for the masking, for example which epidemiologists. Say is is really important but when you say you have a cap in kindergarten. At 15, with an ece, and, kindergarten.
That's Still 30, kids, potentially. In one class. So, it's. Not, it's not the ratio. Of adults, that is important it's the number of. Kids that are in the class, together. And i guess my question, is, in in the more densely, populated. Areas. Are you making this decision, because. It's too costly. Or, too difficult. To, lower the class sizes. Or because you, genuinely, believe, that up to 30 kids in a class. Is going to be safe well let's let's just clarify that so we're going to have two teachers we're going to have cohorts, of 15 within the classroom, too so it's really, they're going to keep the kids. Separate, but in in saying that we have 80 million dollars for, for large urban areas, if they need to get more support they're going to get more support. That's what it comes down to but i think we have a good plan, i have to rely. On the advice. Of all the experts, and that's what we did. And. As i said yesterday, cynthia, you know. God forbid any of our children ever get sick. You're bringing them to sick kids if they really get sick they're experts. And the experts. Are recommending. Certain guidelines, and we're, trying to keep by those guidelines, and then we go to the public health and. We go to our health table, and scientists. And, we're going to everyone and their cousin, to. Make sure we have the right advice and i think they've done a really really good job in giving us the, the proper advice. And, we've, we're implementing, it, and we have to read and react if we get hit with a flu season we get hit with a second wave then we. Then we react and we have, a, plan for for stage two per se. And, that's what we're going to do and i won't hesitate. Uh if this thing, uh, you know we have a second wave and it starts blowing up, close the schools. Whatever, it takes to protect the kids. We can always make up the time. But we can't make up the time if we have a second wave. Last question. Your final question comes from dave woodard, with global news radio 640, toronto. Hi dave please go ahead. How you doing dave. Dave. Dave you may have us on mute. Oh hi thank you for that appreciate it uh since york region's been in stage three, um. Uh, for some time now over a week, we're wondering, why canada's wonderland. Hasn't been reopened, yet in it so. When is it going to reopen. Well i got a message. From the person that runs it but i'm going to pass this over. To the minister, i can answer that. Thanks very much, i know that to canada's wonderland, at calypso theme park just outside of ottawa santa's, village, uh, just up in the muskoka. Area, are all, really excited, about uh, the great protocols, that they've put in place. Having said that the chief medical officer of health has advised, our government and we have accepted, his science. That, theme parks and water parks of those nature. Still pose a significant, threat, as a result of covid19. And therefore, will not be able to open at this time we recognize. The seasonal nature. That is why when. All of ontario. Does move into stage, three we will continually, reassess, this this is not new. We are doing the same, type of work with our meeting and convention, centers, with our. Gym, facilities. We've dealt with it as a result of our professional, sports, and we'll continue to to look at. Other areas, including the ohl. But at this time. We are not confident.
Um. Given. The uh, the, the, the circulation, of people coming from different parts of uh ontario and different parts of canada. Uh at this point in time to open those themed parks, uh, until, the rest of ontario, at all of ontario is in stage three. So happy to take a follow-up, follow it. Uh so the minister, why is uh, something like marineland. Allowed to, reopen, they they're playing ads all over the place now so, uh i guess my question is why why the difference. Yeah i mean a good question i i think if you go across ontario we are looking at. Some tourism, and cultural, attractions, safely reopening, ripley's for example, here in toronto. Many of our art galleries. And museums, as well. With a limited, high touch. This we don't feel. As a result, of the. Information, we've received from the command table particularly, from the chief medical officer of health. That we would be in a, safe, environment, in order to permit them to open at this time. Again i recognize, the seasonal nature as do all my colleagues. Of these businesses. That said, we've taken the advice of the chief medical officer of health and his team, as we've done the entire way throughout this entire process of colvid19. And again we've had many conversations. With wonderland. Many conversations, with some of the other theme parks. But unfortunately, the answer at this point in time is is no, but we have committed to continually, reassessing. Thank you everyone. Thank. You. You.