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Ontario premier says there's only so long he can 'hold back taxpayers' from cottages
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford said there is only so long you can "hold back taxpayers" from going to their cottage as the warmer months arrive.
Speaking to reporters at Queen's Park on Monday, Ford said he would have a "heart-to-heart" conversation with cottage country mayors about the issue later this week.
Top health officials in the province warned Ontarians not to flock to their cottages during the pandemic because it would put an unpreceded strain on the small town resources. There is also concern that people travelling back and forth from their vacation properties would contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
"In Muskoka, the vast majority of taxes are paid through cottagers," Ford said on Monday. "There is only so long you can hold back taxpayers back from going to their cottages."
Ford said a number of retail stores in cottage country also rely on cottagers for business between April and September.
"That's their livelihood," Ford said. "There is only so long I can hold the big gates back from these people. They're going to want to go to their vacation property."
Ontario has recorded another dip in COVID-19 cases on Monday but added 84 new deaths. Health officials reported 370 new cases of the virus on Monday, the lowest number in a single-day since April 29 when a three-week low was recorded.