Ontario’s premier says his government’s decision to keep Halton and Durham in Stage 3 was agreed on after several local MPPs sent an open letter to doctor David Williams urging health officials to keep it status quo.
On Saturday, MPPs Parm Gill (Milton), Jane McKenna (Burlington), Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz said more criteria was needed ahead of a potential move to a modified Stage 2.
Doug Ford said he encouraged them to send a letter, adding that the circumstances are “unique” compared to Toronto, Peel, York, and Ottawa.
Ford also said he spoke on the phone with Oakville Mayor, Rob Burton, who suggested to the premier that Halton remain in Stage 3.
“This is unique, because when it came to Ottawa, Toronto, Peel and York, all the mayors agreed. In Halton, this is unique, because none of the mayors are agreeing,” Ford said on Monday.
“We’re all in this together. Our number one focus is obviously health and safety of the people, but right beside that is the economy. There’s no one that wants to get this economic engine going more than I do.”
Ford says the decision was made collectively, assuring the people living in Halton and Durham that their MPPs know these regions best.
“As I spoke to Mayor Burton, I encouraged him, I was the one who said write the letter. I encourage differing opinions. I talk to our MPPs, I talk to Jane McKenna. They’re incredible,” the premier adds.
“I have to listen to the small business owners, the guys and gals that are struggling out there trying to meet payroll. You don’t think that weighs on someone’s shoulders?”.
Halton’s daily COVID-19 numbers remain moderate with 31 new cases reported on Sunday, followed by 27 new infections confirmed today.
Durham, meantime, saw a significant decrease in COVID-19 cases compared to the weekend.
On Sunday, health officials reported 52 new infections with 23 COVID-19 cases confirmed on Monday.