In the wake of the government’s reversal of COVID control measures announced Friday, NDP leader Andrea Horwath says the Ford Government plans to suspend the legislature by Wednesday. In a release Horwath says her caucus “will refuse to cooperate until the government has reversed its dangerous police-state orders in their entirety, and replaced them with public health measures to stop COVID-19.” The government has already backed off its plan to have police conduct spot checks on people found to be not at home.
“People are laying in crowded hospital hallways, struggling to breathe, and many thousands more will join them if we don’t replace Doug Ford’s plan,” said Horwath. “Black, Indigenous and racialized people know check stops and carding will target them, because it always has. Businesses are already on the brink and more will go under without help. People’s lives are on the line. Together, we have to fight to save Ontario.”
Some of the demands made by the NDP include:
- Given (sic) Ontarians paid sick days by passing Bill 239
- Cancelled the extraordinary police powers announced Friday in their entirety
- Shut down all non-essential workplaces
- Formally committed to a meaningful package of supports, over and above the few announced, for businesses and workers affected by closures
“We are prepared to discuss how we can run the legislature with the minimum number of staff and MPPs, and with the strictest possible health protocols. We are not prepared to help Doug Ford go home, leaving a police-state in place while he allows COVID-19 to run rampant, overrun hospitals, and steal the lives of Ontarians who would otherwise make it through this,” said Horwath.
With the Ford Government enjoying a majority in the legislature, it is not clear what the withdrawal of NDP cooperation would look like.