It's looking like Ontario will enter Step 2 of reopening before Canada Day
Ontario has now met its own vaccination targets for the third and final step of Doug Ford's Roadmap to Reopen plan, leading people all over the province to question whether it might be time to finally move beyond Step 1.
Some say we should at least enter Step 2 a bit early, given how fast vaccination rates have been rising in recent weeks (more than 75 per cent of adults have had at least one shot!)
Others hope to see us skip right through to Step 3, allowing indoor dining and indoor fitness classes to resume right alongside the reopening of hair salons and amusement parks.
It's not at all clear what the province intends to do, but they keep dropping little hints to suggest that we will at the very least enter Step 2 earlier than expected — just like we did with Step 1 a few weeks back, on June 11.
While the framework specifies that the entire province must stay in each stage of the reopening process for a minimum of 21 days, Ford said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon that his government is considering moving forward "a few days" early.
This is not the first time he has suggested that such a thing could happen, but it is particularly prescient considering newly-leaked information from CBC News that Ford and his cabinet are meeting today to discuss the possibility.
Citing "sources with knowledge of the discussion," CBC reports that Ford and his cabinet are meeting this afternoon and that, if an early move to Step 2 is approved, the announcement will be made tomorrow.
This is in line with what Ford said earlier Wednesday during a press conference about the Scarborough Subway Extension.
"I know Minister Elliott is working with Dr. Williams to come up with a date," said Ford when asked if the province might enter Step 2 earlier than the scheduled July 2 benchmark. "I give all the credit to the frontline healthcare workers right across the province."
"You look at the numbers, 227,000 vaccinations in one day, it's absolutely incredible," said Ford, moving away from the question. "And I just want to thank the people of Ontario too for coming out and getting vaccinated, not only the first dose but the second dose, so, you know, they get all the credit in the world."
When asked if the government was considering moving up the reopening timeline by a matter of days or weeks, Ford said it was the former.
"It's just a matter of days and Minister Elliott, again, will be discussing this with Dr. Williams and they will be coming out with an announcement very shortly."
Noting that 76.4 per cent of adult residents have now had their first dose, Ford asked anyone eligible who isn't yet vaccinated to get the jab.
"Anyone who doesn't have their first dose, I encourage you to go get you first dose," said the premier. "And shortly thereafter get your second dose and that's just gunna speed everything up and keep our hospitals safe and keep everyone else safe."
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