Province lacks leadership in pandemic

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Editor: The Ontario government under Doug Ford is failing our entire province and our community.
Ontarians need leadership that is decisive and provides hope that better days are ahead. Vaccine deliveries are increasing, and C-K is doing an outstanding job getting our citizens vaccinated quickly and efficiently. CK Public Health and our local pharmacy teams deserve high praise for this.
A premier and a government need to lead in times of crisis.
Nothing the premier does these days projects confidence that he or his team have a handle on the crisis before our province.
The premier deserves credit for listening to public health experts early in the pandemic, but in the last several months, the wheels are falling off and we do not seem to know where we are heading – well at least the government does not.

It was plain as the eye can see that the third wave was coming and that it was going to be bad. Yet, in February, the government made the decision to open our province, even going so far as to announce that salons and other businesses could open for service in Grey lockdown zones.

It was an opening that small businesses prepared for but never came.

Then the province initiated the “emergency brake,” fancy government lingo that no one could explain exactly.

Then came the second stay-at-home order with no explanations on what items are considered essential and non-essential. Many people remain confused and, rightly, angry.
The worst one yet – Education Minister Lecce was loud and clear – schools are safe, and schools will stay open. He said this repeatedly for weeks. Then, they close schools, giving students and educators no notice, saying it is for their safety. Which is it? Are schools safe or not?
It has been a year since experts from around the province have spoken about the safety of schools, calling for smaller class sizes, increased investments for improved ventilation and rapid testing. There has been little movement to date from the Ontario government, other than to take credit for money from the federal government.
Frontline workers need access to paid sick days, so they can stay home when sick, and prevent the spread of the virus, but again the premier said this is not a priority.
Nobody is saying that the crisis we are facing could have been prevented by the Ontario government alone, but the constant open-close with lockdowns and half-measures have certainly extended the crisis and hurt our communities, small businesses, and our seniors.
The lack of preparedness from the first wave to the second ravaged our long-term care homes and our seniors. The people who built our communities – we failed them.
The lack of preparedness from the second wave to the third is hurting our province.

It is time for the premier to step up and lead and provide clarity.
Can the real leaders please stand up? We deserve better.

Jason Brown
Chatham

 

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