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Ontario premier apologizes for latest COVID restrictions

Doug Ford
Ontario Premier Doug. Ford holds a press briefing Thursday

The premier of Ontario has offered an apology to the people of his province for what he called moving too fast last week in announcing new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. He also offered hope for a measure that many labour leaders and health care experts have been demanding.

There was widespread criticism when Premier Doug Ford announced measures granting sweeping new powers to police to randomly stop people and cars to ask individuals why they had left their homes during the stay-at-home order. That measure was quickly reversed after the uproar. So was the measure to close playgrounds.

On Thursday, Ford apologized, during a virtual news conference.

"We got it wrong. We made a mistake," he said. "These decisions left a lot of people very concerned. In fact, they left a lot of people angry and upset. I know we got it wrong. I know we made a mistake. And for that I’m sorry and I sincerely apologize."

Some were so angry they demanded Ford’s resignation. 

Ford also acknowledged the calls for paid sick leave benefits for workers in Ontario. Many doctors had called for the benefits for those who could not afford to stay home if they were sick and major employers have been identified as sites were outbreaks of COVID-19 have occurred.  

Ford said his government is working on a program to address sick leave benefits, but he wouldn’t provide any details or a timeline for its implementation.

He also released a letter he and Quebec Premier Francois Legault sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about "the concerning situation at our borders." With variants of concerns continuing to pose a threat to Canada, the two premiers asked the federal government to take action now.

Credit Doug Ford / Twitter

Credit Doug Ford / Twitter

WBFO's Marian Hetherly contributed to this story.

WBFO’s comprehensive news coverage extends into Southern Ontario and Dan Karpenchuk is the station’s voice from the north. The award-winning reporter covers binational issues, including economic trends, the environment, tourism and transportation.
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