As kids in Davenport and across Ontario return to the classroom for the first day back to school this week, I'm calling on Doug Ford and his government to act now to deliver the safe September that everyone deserves.
On September 8, I joined Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Toronto-St.Paul's MPP Jill Andrew, alongside local parents, to urge Ford to implement the NDP’s Safe September plan, which includes:
- Mandatory vaccination for teachers and education workers
- Adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccines for students
- Improved ventilation with public reporting and provincial standards
- Smaller class sizes
- Mental health & learning supports
- A comprehensive rapid testing plan
- Proactive work to ensure we're ready to roll out vaccines for under 12's as soon as they are approved by Health Canada.
- Ending “hybrid” learning
- Ensuring families have the paid sick and care days they need
Ontario can still have a safe September - and keep schools open for good. The government just needs to make better choices, stop their cuts and step up to the challenge by supporting our schools. Let’s make kids safe in school — by preventing outbreaks and exposures — so we can avoid the disruptions we saw last year.
This will be another year that is far from what we're used to but we are all hoping for a new sense of normalcy at school. As students head back this week, I want to urge you to reach out and ask for the support they need from a parent, teacher or other caring adult at school. And I want to thank our hard working teachers, education workers, school leaders and trustees for all you're doing to ensure this return to school is a success. Please know I have your back and we're with you all the way.