I am writing to you as an Ontario voter. It is unacceptable that Ontarians are facing a two-tier system of testing where those with money can afford private PCR tests, while every day Ontarians are left not knowing if they are infected with COVID-19.
Your government must make Rapid Antigen Tests free and widely available to all Ontarians now. Your government must increase funding so that everyone who needs a PCR test to keep their community safe can quickly access them.
I am also deeply concerned that your plans to bring children back to school does not include the funding or supports needed to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. Schools and daycare centres should report COVID-19 outbreaks so that families and workers are kept safe.
Your government’s flimsy back-to-school plan is rolling the dice on kids' school year and their well-being.
Parents, teachers, and kids are exhausted from a year of upheaval and painful remote learning. So many kids are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, and many will have a hard time catching up after a year of disruption.
I am calling on you to do everything possible to protect kids and staff, and to have an air-tight plan to prevent outbreaks and exposures so we can avoid more disastrous at-home learning.
Now, more than ever, it’s time to invest in the public health of our kids. I urge you to listen to Andrea Horwath and the NDP, and take action to:
- Make Rapid Antigen Tests free and widely available
- Make publicly funded and provided PCR tests readily available to anyone who needs them
- Reverse your decision to stop schools and daycare centres from reporting COVID-19 outbreaks
- Shrink class sizes so kids can physically distance and get more one-on-one help to recover academically and emotionally
Ensure minimum ventilation standards in schools as well as additional mental health supports
- A proactive vaccination strategy to boost student vaccination rates and speed up the roll-out of booster vaccines
- Paid sick days and family care days for all parents, teachers and education workers
- Repeal Bill 124