open letter university toronto doug ford

U of T historians just flamed the Ford government in an open letter

Faculty from University of Toronto's history department have released a scathing open letter calling out the Ontario government for racist policies and "its utter failure to live up to its basic responsibilities." 

More than 60 historians and professors working at U of T have signed a letter released Wednesday condemning Doug Ford's provincial government for its handling of the pandemic since the onset of COVID-19. 

Amidst calls for Doug Ford to resign as Premier of Ontario, U of T's history faculty joins the fold, leveling accusations against the Ontario government that include creating a "public health disaster." 

"Many of our own colleagues here at the University of Toronto were among those who warned the Ford government months ago that this public health emergency would come," says the letter. 

"Despite these warnings, the government willfully ignored scientific advice, forcing vulnerable people back into unsafe workplaces with no protections against this disease." 

The letter also points to Ontario's most vulnerable, specifically women, immigrants, single parents, the homeless, the disabled and the underhoused, as those hardest hit by the government's lockdown policies. 

"The Ontario government’s public health policies have allowed businesses and privileged consumers to take advantage of the vulnerability of others, a policy that we condemn, in no uncertain terms, as racist." 

The letter cites the provincial healthcare system now functioning with a backlog of 250,000 surgical procedures. 

"The government’s decisions have now compromised one of the best public healthcare systems in the world.... As we write this, the province’s hospitals and morgues are filling up with racialized and working-class people and their families." 

On Thursday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford held a press conference during which he apologized for heavy-handed restrictions introduced last week, including granting police additional powers, a move that saw public outcry over the weekend

The professors are calling for Ontario's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Williams, to push for an immediate implementation of paid sick days and paid time off for vaccination, as promised earlier this week.

"Failure to act now can only be interpreted as, at best, incompetence, and at worst, a commitment to callous indifference, gross incompetence and systemic racial violence," says the letter.

"Economies recover," the letter concludes. "The dead do not."

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