Here are today’s new developments:
- Trudeau said the federal government will help provinces and territories ramp up COVID-19 testing and contact tracing - key factors to reopening the economy safely. Ontario testing numbers have been dismal this past week, with the number of tests dipping below 10,000, well below the current test goal of 20,000. Premier Ford has been promising more testing since mid-April, but has consistently failed to meet his own lowered targets.
- Even with Ontario’s COVID-19 testing lag, the province's number of new cases is up - Official Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath has been urging Premier Ford and his government to ensure that reopening the economy comes with increased testing and contact tracing.
- The federal government has announced pandemic funding for Indigenous people living off-reserve.
- Parks Canada says some national parks will reopen on June 1, with limited access and services in place to promote physical distancing.
Here are some concerns the Official Opposition is working on, and solutions we’re pushing for:
- The Official Opposition provided a “fact check” to the Ford government’s re-announcement today of $20 million for health research into a COVID-19 vaccine – a year ago, Premier Doug Ford gutted medical research capacity in Ontario with a $25-million cut to the Health System Research Fund, part of $51-million his government cut from Health Policy and Research.
“Just imagine how much further ahead these research projects could be if they had been firing on all cylinders when this pandemic began,” Official Opposition Research and Innovation critic Catherine Fife said.
- With Premier Doug Ford continuing to fail in his commitment to increasing COVID-19 testing in Ontario, the Official Opposition compiled a list of the many excuses Ford has made since mid-April.
- Official Opposition Ethics critic Taras Natyshak joined Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath in calling for the Ford government to explain why at least four top Ford allies registered to lobby the Ontario government on behalf of the big three, for-profit long-term care corporations.
- During yesterday's question period, the Official Opposition’s Workplace Health and Safety critic, Wayne Gates, called for frontline workers to get the PPE and safety protections they desperately need, reminding Ford that 17 per cent of Ontario’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 are health care workers.