doug ford announcement

Doug Ford says he can't rule out another full lockdown as case numbers soar

With just hours to go before the City of Toronto is expected to release new details about forthcoming restrictions in Canada's largest city, Ontario Premier Doug Ford held a pandemic press conference with several of his ministers and — for the first time — Mayor John Tory.

Torontonians watched with great attention, hoping for a hint of what Tory would announce when he speaks alongside the city's medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, later on Tuesday about new emergency measures.

Alas, we didn't learn anything more than we already knew: Toronto will leave modified Stage 2 on Saturday at 12:01 a.m. and enter the province's new colour-coded COVID-19 restriction system.

It remains unclear which level we'll go into and which additional restrictions, if any, will be put in place at the municipal level on top of the province's own.

Toronto is on edge as local case numbers continue to skyrocket (520 of Ontario's record 1,388 new infections on Tuesday were confirmed right here), but Ontario on the whole can rest easy knowing that Ford is prepared to take stronger action if things continue to spiral.

When asked today about whether or not his government is considering another full, province-wide lockdown, similar to what we're seeing in Manitoba right now, Ford said nothing was off the table.

"I can't rule out anything," said the premier during his press conference early Tuesday afternoon.

"I think we've showed before, at the beginning of this pandemic, if it needs to be done, we'll do it based on the advice of our health professionals, or advice from the local medical officers and the advice from the local mayor."

Ford once again reiterated that local health officials were free to supplement his government's new restriction framework with rules of their own, based on what they feel is best — something nobody had publicly heard him say before yesterday.

"We have to be collaborative, which we have from the beginning," said Ford. "You can't just be running off into the wilderness making a decision by yourself."

While he is now a self-professed "strong believer in working together" with local mayors and all 34 medical officers of health across the province, the premier did suggest that he'd issue another emergency lockdown order if the situation calls for it.

Said Ford: "If the numbers get totally out of control, I won't hesitate to do what it takes to protect the health and safety of the people."

Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Lead photo by

Premier of Ontario


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