August 4th, 2021

Horwath says Ford is gambling with kids’ school year

PEEL — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s Wednesday press conference provided no comfort to parents, teachers or education workers worried that the Ford government is taking big risks with safety to avoid investing in safer schools.

“Ford’s rolling the dice, and kids are going to pay the price,” said Horwath. “The Ford government didn’t want to invest any more in schools, so they’ve released a paper-thin plan that doesn’t improve vaccination rates, doesn’t give parents and education workers paid sick days, doesn’t rapid test unvaccinated staff before they come to school, and doesn’t give kids smaller class sizes.

“I hoped we’d hear more of a plan today, not more excuses. Our kids, teachers and education workers deserve better. They deserve a robust gap-free strategy that lowers the risk as much as we possibly can. Because preventing outbreaks not only protects people’s heath — it will prevent kids from being sent home again and again. Their mental and emotional health can’t take any more of that.”

Horwath has released a Safe September plan that calls for all those things. She also believes the COVID-19 vaccine should be added to the existing vaccines list for students. For vaccines like the measles and chicken pox shots, parents already must show their child’s immunization record, or a signed exemption, in order to register for school.