TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford says that he is skeptical about the Toronto District School Board’s intention to require that all students – even those in younger grades – wear face coverings but won't stand in the way of the policy.

The Ford government has recommended that all staff as well as all students in Grade 4 and up wear face coverings when school resumes in the fall but the TDSB has taken things a step further.

At a meeting on Tuesday night the board approved a motion asking Director of Education Carlene Jackson to implement a mandatory mask requirement for "all students, staff, and visitors where two metres of social distancing cannot be maintained," with some exceptions.

The motion asks that the policy remain in place “until such time as masks are no longer required or recommended in the general population to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

It also asks Jackson to report back to the board on the costs associated with providing students with reusable masks.

“I go with the experts at SickKids. They are the ones who didn’t recommend masks. They said they (the children) would be fiddling around with the masks and you know I have four girls and I know when they were little, four or five years old, it would have been hard to keep the mask on,” Ford said of the policy during his daily COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.

“But again we will be there and we will support the board if that is what they want to do. It is just that keeping a mask on a junior or senior kindergartener might be difficult.”

Earlier this week the TDSB unveiled a plan to shorten the school day by 48 minutes in order to reduce class sizes and improve physical distancing but the Ford government kyboshed the idea and sent the board back to the drawing board.

At a meeting on Tuesday night, Jackson said that unless there is some sort of “a miracle” it is very unlikely that thousands of students at the TDSB will be back learning on Sept. 8 as scheduled.

Ford, nonetheless, told reporters on Wednesday that he remains confident in Ontario’s back to school protocols.

“I will go back to what I always say. We have the safest plan in the entire country. We are pulling out all the stops and won’t spare a penny,” he said.