QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh issued this statement:
“New Democrats welcome the long-overdue decision to make vaccine passports more secure and to finally verify medical exemptions. We know that legitimate medical exemptions are rare and that the Ford government could have done much more right from the get-go to verify them. Instead, Premier Doug Ford emboldened anti-vaxxers and sent out the wrong message that it’s ok to hold out on getting vaccinated. But with cases rising quickly, addressing some of the problems with passports isn’t enough.
Alarming increases in cases among kids tell us we need to improve vaccine uptake among the 5 to 11 year olds, add the COVID vaccine to the regular school immunization list, and deploy culturally appropriate public information campaigns. We also need to reduce contacts among kids by lowering class sizes. We need better ventilation because COVID is airborne.
We also need to mandate vaccines for all education and health care workers.
We need to provide free and easy access to rapid tests for everyone.
We need to speed up booster shots for everyone 18 and over.
We need clear holiday guidance from the province now — not at the eleventh hour.
Nobody in the province wants to see more lockdowns. No one wants to see any more school disruptions. No one wants to see Ford disadvantage small business again. And if Doug Ford takes action now, he can prevent all that.”