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Doug Ford's Ontario coronavirus update: 'It is clear that we cannot open schools at this time' (Full transcript)

On May 19, the Premier of Ontario announced that schools will not reopen and overnight summer camps will remain closed

Well, good afternoon. The safety of our children is my top priority. And one thing I will never do is take unnecessary risk when it comes to our children. And that’s why, after careful consideration, after consulting with the health experts, it is clear that we cannot open schools at this time. I’m just not going to risk it. This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was the right decision. We’ve made the decision to put our kids’ safety first, and at the same time we have a plan to ensure that our children’s education can continue outside of the classroom.

At-home learning will continue. All students from grades K to 12 will receive their report cards. We’re doing everything possible to make sure our students have the opportunity to graduate this year, and we’re working hard to ensure that child care centres will begin to open safely, once we get the stage two of reopening. We’ll make sure we support parents returning to their jobs as workplaces are ready to reopen.

I also know that many of our kids are eagerly awaiting to find out if they’ll be able to go to camp this summer. I know many parents are looking for certainty when it comes to summer plans. So today we’re also providing an update on summer camps. Overnight camps will remain closed. Unfortunately, we just can’t have camps with 500 kids living together right now. I know this will be tough for many kids who look forward to their overnight camps. But there is some good news based on the best advice of our health experts, as long as trends continue to improve, summer day camps will be allowed to open in July and August with strict and I repeat, strict public health measures in place.

We hope this gives kids and parents something to look forward to this summer. I know it’s hard at home right now. I know some parents are juggling work and supporting at-home learning. To our amazing parents, you are true champions. You’re going above and beyond. You’re putting on a brave face to support and comfort our children during these uncertain times. And I want you to know that your sacrifice, your care does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. In our government will have your back every step of the way.

Most importantly, I want our parents to know that as we move forward, we will keep you informed every step of the way. In every decision we make, my commitment to the parents is this: the health and safety of our kids will always, always come first. Nothing is more important. Before I pass it over to Minister Lecce, I just want to mention it’s Personal Support Worker Day. Thank you. From the bottom of our hearts. Our wonderful personal support workers, today is about celebrating you and everything you do. Thank you and God bless the people of Ontario.