April 20, 2021
The Honourable Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
I want to thank you for closing the box stores except for essentials like food and medication keeping a level playing field. I know this has been trying times for you and your government making difficult decisions on COVID‑19 related matters. It is also difficult times for all of Ontarians especially the latest lockdown measures.
I am hearing daily the frustration of the closing of outdoor recreation, patios, hair salons, small shop owners, bars, and restaurants.
Let’s start with outdoor facilities. Every epidemiologist that I have seen or heard on the radio are supportive of outdoor activity. Here are two samples. “If you’re outdoors and spaced apart, or wearing masks, the risk is low. This year has shown us how important it is to get outside, and it’s actually a nice thing knowing it’s safer outdoors”, Ashleigh Tuite an Epidemiologist, University of Toronto. “Closing golf courses, tennis and pickleball is not the answer. We know where the vast majority of transmission occurs, and we know it is not outdoors. Let’s focus our energy on where the vast majority occurs and that’s indoor environments”, Isaac Bogoch, Infection Disease Specialist, Toronto General Hospital.
Premier, I ask that you reconsider the closures of outdoor activities like golf, tennis and pickleball where participants follow safe guidelines from their associations. Physical health is good for mental health.
Last summer the outdoor patios were open with guidelines, tables spaced, maximum restrictions and only dine with those in your family bubble. It seemed to work as all summer and fall the curve was flattened. Please reconsider the patios to re-open.
I have heard many concerns from the “Mom & Pop” shops that are ideal for browsing and spontaneous shopping. These are the stores on Main Streets throughout Ontario. Perhaps they can have one customer at a time? Personally, I felt safer going into these small shops than I do going into the large box stores.
I know Premier you have a lot on your plate, and I applaud many of your decisions. I hope you reconsider some of your decisions I outlined in my letter.
Mayor, Town of Halton Hills
C. Ted Arnott, MPP, Wellington - Halton Hills