Doug Ford says Ontario will absolutely not be reopening by May 24
Sorry, hopeful May 2-4 campers: You'll have to celebrate the unofficial start of summer at home this year. Probably without fireworks.
This afternoon, Ontario Premier Doug Ford clarified comments he'd made earlier Wednesday while speaking on a radio program.
"So as we get closer to summer, we get to the May 24th weekend, the pressure is going to be on for people to do more and more things. Do you see us, by then, having a little more freedom to be [more] social than we are today?" asked host Bill Carroll of Ford during his show, The Morning Rush, on Wednesday.
"Over the next little while, very short period, we're bringing a few things to cabinet and we'll make some decisions there and every week," said Ford, noting that things could potentially loosen up "a little bit" by Victoria Day.
When asked about the remarks during his daily pandemic press conference at Queen's Park, however, Ford stressed on Wednesday afternoon that he wasn't trying to imply any sort of "re-opening" date had been set for the province.
"Everything is conditional on the health and well-being of Ontario," said Ford in response to a reporter who asked about the potential of a May long weekend 're-opening of the economy.'
"I've gotta be very, very clear," continued the Premier. "There's never going to be one date that we just open up the economy."
Ford said that when the businesses do start to open and life gets back to normal, everything will happen gradually and under the guidance of public health experts.
"We're going to open it up with a trickle and just let it flow from there and constantly measure," said Ford. "But by no means are we going to have, for instance, the May 24th weekend, we're just going to open things up. That is absolutely not going to happen."
In terms of rumours that schools might re-open before the academic year is written off, Ford said he couldn't speak to such questions. Education Minister Stephen Lecce is expected to comment on the matter in the coming days, but Ford seems optimistic that parents, teachers and kids will finally get some clarity.
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