doug ford announcement

Doug Ford tears up as he apologizes for mistakes and says Ontario got it wrong

Ontario Premier Doug Ford made a special address to the public on Thursday while in isolation after a COVID-19 work exposure to apologize for heavy-handed new restrictions that his team implemented last week, to much backlash.

Ford, under the immense stress of seemingly not being able to please anyone with his pandemic policies, actually began shedding a tear while delivering a heartfelt message to constituents.

"Last Friday, in response to extremely troubling modelling that told us we could see well over 15,000 cases a day, we moved fast to put in measures to reduce mobility. But we moved too fast," the premier said solemnly outside of his late mother's Etobicoke home.

"I know some of those measures, especially around enforcement, went too far... I know we got it wrong and I know we made a mistake, and for that I'm sorry and I sincerely apologize."

The not-so-well-received measures that Ford refers to include, of course, the one that gave police additional powers to go as far as pulling any citizen over in their car or stopping them as they walked down the street to verify their address and what they were doing out of their home.

It was an apparent attempt to further enforce the provincewide stay-at-home order that only some have been abiding by since it was introduced on April 8 amid the existing emergency shutdown, and also to lower Ontario's consistently high COVID-19 case counts and ICU admission rates.

But, much like recent public reaction to the curfews in Montreal, residents were not happy with what they saw as draconian and in many senses misplaced restrictions.

The province quickly rescinded the measure just one day after it was announced, though multiple police forces had already stated that they would not be following the new directive anyhow.

Residents were so angry about it, in fact, that many began calling for Ford's resignation from office as they continued to wade through stringent lockdown measures — and watch other parts of the world open up — more than one year into the health crisis.

The pressure and angst from all sides, whether it's those who have long been adamantly calling for more restrictions or those who have been demanding the complete opposite, could be part of the reason that Ford broke down during his briefing today as he touched on the tragedy of COVID-19 in general.

"When it comes to protecting lives, protecting our hospitals and people, we can't waver. But at this stage in the pandemic, going through this terrible third wave, I assure you that there are no easy choices left," he said.

"I know that these lockdowns have been devastating for people."

The premier spoke of residents missing weddings and funerals, not being able to see loved ones face-to-face, having to close their businesses, struggling with mental health and addiction, and having to isolate alone at home, like he is right now.

It was when he began talking about "families that haven't been able to hold hands with their mom or dad as they passed away" because of COVID-19 restrictions in hospitals that he truly broke down, as any person might.

As he continued to try and push through the briefing, it seems that there were some technical difficulties that cut him off mid-speech — inconvenient, but perhaps a relief for the clearly emotional Ford.

Reactions to the appearance so far have been largely negative given the high level of tension and frustration among the province's residents these days, but for at least a few, it was a clearly human moment in which Ford was simply trying to do something right.

Lead photo by

CPAC


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