Could have seen it coming: Ford’s own MPPs demand to see COVID evidence

Following yesterday’s open letter from Halton Mayors and Chairs asking the Ford government to share any evidence they have to justify any return to Stage Two lockdown, two Halton MPPs have made a similar demand. Burlington MPP Jane McKenna and Milton MPP Parm Gill issued a letter to Ontario’s top doctor David Williams asking him to come up with hard data to support any imposition of COVID restrictions in Halton Region

“Yesterday, Halton Region reported just 1 hospitalization in Burlington and Georgetown,” the letter read, “3 cases in Oakville and 5 cases in Milton. The Milton cases are directly related to a long-term care facility.”

“To give some perspective, Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital currently has 91 surge beds available. In short, our rate of infection is declining (well below the provincial average), and we have significant hospital capacity. During the height of COVID-19, the majority of Ontarians accepted unprecedented restrictions in order to stop the spread and flatten the curve,” wrote the MPPs in a letter that was also signed by Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr and Milton Mayor Gord Krantz.

“Now, nearly 7 months later the public is demanding more than just the blanket statement of ‘on the advice of medical experts.’ In fact, without providing specific justification for implementing new restrictions, there is legitimate concern that people will start to ignore public health advice,” the letter continued.

The very rare public breach between two MPPs and the government they represent, comes as government decision-making on the COVID pandemic is being criticized as inconsistent and opaque. Doug Ford’s daily news conferences are seeing increasingly sharp questioning from reporters who have repeatedly asked for the government to share the metrics that are used to justify the various lockdown orders it is making, and who have only received vague answers. This mini-revolt, politely worded as it is, will be the topic of more reporters’ questions tomorrow.

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