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Ontario premier blames COVID 'variants that passed too easily through our borders'

Doug Ford
Ontario Premier Doug Ford blames COVID-19 variants for latest wave of infections.

People in Ontario will have to stay at home for at least another two weeks. The province has extended the stay-at-home order until June 2.Ontario Premier Doug Ford said this will help deliver the most normal summer possible. But he also warns the province isn’t out of the woods yet, despite a downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases. He said more vaccines are being administered every day, so he’s asking people to hold on for a couple more weeks.

Ford also turned to one of his favorite pastimes -- blaming Ottawa -- and called on the federal government to again beef up border restrictions.

“Existing border measures have failed to keep the contagious variants out of Canada," he said. "The evidence is clear. We know it and they know it. And this brutal third wave is fueled almost entirely by variants that passed too easily through our borders."

Although Ford is heeding the advice of medical experts in extending the stay-at-home order, he is acting contrary to their advice in keeping outdoor recreational amenities closed. Most doctors say outdoor activities are safe and should be encouraged.

Meanwhile, more than 6.5 million people in Ontario have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, while more than 400,000 have received both doses. The province will begin administering vaccines to youth aged 12-17 May 31.

Opening day at the Fort Erie Race Track has been postponed because of the extended stay-at-home order. The track was scheduled to begin operations for the season on June 1, but that will be rescheduled to a yet-to-be-determined future date.

Live racing will take place Mondays at 1 p.m. and Tuesdays at 4 p.m. once the track opens.

WBFO's Mark Wozniak 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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