Premier Doug Ford addresses federal funding and possibility of “Stage 2” of reopening the province

In his daily provincial address, Premier Doug Ford and his government said that details for the second stage of Ontario’s reopening plan would be released next week, as well as addressing the funding announcement made by Trudeau earlier in the day.

Ford began his announcement by calling on for support from the federal government, as the financial support given before this announcement is not enough for Ontario as they deal with the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that a total of $14 billion would be provided by the federal government, and that money would be divided amongst the provinces and territories.

The money is being sent info these provinces and territories to open child care facilities, help municipal governments, and purchase personal protective equipment.

“The fight against this virus has taken a massive toll on people, on families and on our economy. The economic reality we are facing is unprecedented and no province can get out of this alone,” Ford said about the struggles the country is facing at this time.

Ford thanked Trudeau for the incoming support, but has said that the divided funding being sent “won’t cut it”.

“It’s a start, it’s a good start and I thank the prime minister for his support, but the reality is we have a $23 billion problem in Ontario”.

Ford then began his announcement regarding the second stage of Ontario’s reopening plan, and how details about the plan would be released next week.

Ford noted that next week’s announcement would only be a look at what the “restart phase would look like when speaking to reporters.

Despite announcing this, Ford stressed that the announcement does not mean that the stage would come into effect right away.

“I know the people of Ontario, you’ve been very, very patient… We will be ready very soon to take out next steps the to reopen our economy, but it won’t happen overnight. Businesses will need some time to prepare”.

Ontario is also planning to release a plan next week that will detail a way for childcare centres to reopen “safely and gradually” so that parents who are returning to work soon have child supervision.

Ford has also rejected the possibility of hair and nail salons being part of the second stage plans, and also rejected the idea that the province’s reopening process is moving too slowly.

“I can’t say we are moving too slowly; we are moving cautiously”.

As of this moment, Ontario is the only province that has kept the ban on hair salons and barber barbershops.

Positive Trends in Ontario’s COVID-19 Status

Following updates in data collected by Ontario’s Ministry of Health, it seems as though there are positive trends emerging from the province. 

The report from the Health Ministry of Ontario found that: 

  • Hospitalization numbers have been steadily declining
  • The number of long-term care homes with outbreaks of COVID-19 is decreasing
  • Ontario’s labs have completed over 20,822 tests in the 24 hours leading up till Thursday June 4

Despite these positive trends, Ontario’s top public health officials have said that it is essential there is a steady reduction in the number of daily new COVID-19 cases before they can recommend moving to stage two of reopening the economy. 

From the current data up until the month of May, it is estimated that there is no sign of a downward trend in the number of new cases. 

Premier Doug Ford however offered some hope to businesses as his government is considering regional phaseout of public health restrictions. 

Ontario COVID-19 Stats

Confirmed cases: 29,747

Recoveries: 23,583

Deaths: 2,372

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