Ontario premier rejects calls for preparedness review into possible second wave of COVID-19
Premier Doug Ford leaves the daily press briefing at Queens Park, in Toronto, Wednesday, June 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rene Johnston-POOL
TORONTO -- Ontario's New Democratic Party is calling on the Ford government to launch an independent review of the province’s preparedness for a potential second wave of the COVID-19.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Ontario should follow Alberta's lead which is launching a third-party review of that government’s handling of the pandemic from the health system to the economic response — with a report expected by the fall before a potential second wave of the virus.
A preparedness review in Ontario, Horwath said, should examine contact tracing, stocks of personal protective equipment, the health care sector and the status of long-term care and should be ready by the fall.
“Doug Ford’s claims that we’re ready for the second wave echo his claims from February that we were ready for the first wave. We weren’t,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said in a statement.
Premier Ford dismissed the idea of a preparedness review and said he doesn't believe the province needs one, but suggested the work is being conducted on a daily basis.
"We're always under review on a daily basis," Ford said. "As long as we continue communicating with the people and the stakeholders and the medical professionals, I think everyone's moving forward in the right direction."
Ford however acknowledged that "there's always room for improvement" and Ontario isn't close to "finishing this battle" with COVID-19.