Premier Doug Ford was in a more combative mood as he took reporters’ questions Friday for the first time since his tearful new conference two weeks ago. Top of mind for the premier was what he termed “wide open borders,” as he urged the Federal Government to impose much stricter border restrictions, particularly the land crossings. He blamed the continuing ability of passengers to arrive in Toronto by air without quarantining, as well as those crossing by land for the introduction of new COVID variants into the province. He told reporters he urged Prime Minister Trudeau in a phone call to get tough on the Border issue.
He disagreed with a reporter’s question that suggested he had not met with NDP leader Andrea Horwath since the pandemic began. He said he had one meeting with her at the beginning of the crisis and that she didn’t show up for a subsequent meeting, sending a staffer instead.
He also disagreed with reporters who suggested his paid sick day plan does not meet the recommendations to the Science Table, saying his government will provide double the federal payment, and provide 14 days of coverage; but that he needs the feds to agree to blend the two plans.
He shook off a question about the appointment of former Ontario Cabinet Minister Norm Sterling to head the Greenbelt Commission. Reporters had pointed out that Sterling had voted against the establishment of the Greenbelt when he was in the Legislature. Ford said the government remains committed to expanding the greenbelt, and accused the previous Liberal Government of reducing it to appease “their developer buddies,” as he termed them.