john tory lockdown

Toronto Mayor John Tory wants tighter lockdown restrictions for Christmas

It's been more than three weeks now since Toronto entered the strictest level of Ontario's colour-coded COVID-19 framework, and, well... things only seem to be getting worse.

A record 2,275 new cases of the deadly coronavirus were reported in Ontario on Tuesday, 711 of them in Toronto alone. Meanwhile, temporarily shuttered local businesses are closing at a clip while big box retailers like Walmart continue to welcome hundreds of shoppers at a time.

Public health officials are pleading with residents to stay home and celebrate the holidays exclusively with their own households, but a significant number of people continue to eschew the rules.

With Christmas just over a week away and the lockdown period set to expire on Dec. 21, Toronto Mayor John Tory says something needs to change — and that now is the perfect time to do it.

With schools set to close on Friday and a good chunk of residents preparing to take time off for the holiday season, Tory says it would make sense to implement stricter lockdown rules when the initial 28-day lockdown period expires on Monday.

"It is going to be Christmas, schools will be closed. A lot of businesses are not opening at full strength, there are holidays involved," said Tory to CP24 on Wednesday.

"Going back to the good old days, as much as we'd want to, is just not in the cards. In fact, we should be doing more, not less,"

The mayor is now in discussions with Ontario Premier Doug Ford and other leaders about putting even heavier restrictions in place, though the specifics have yet to be worked out..

"I think people should look back to what we had back in the spring," said the mayor this morning, noting that any further lockdown measures would need to be implemented across the entire region — not just the City of Toronto.

"Everyone deserves some notice, which means the decision has to be made before next Sunday."

That decision remains firmly in the hands of the provincial government, but Ford once again made it clear on Tuesday that "everything is on the table" when it comes to crushing the COVID-19 pandemic — even if that means mandating a full, true lockdown period after Christmas like Quebec.

Lead photo by

Karen Longwell

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