July 31st, 2020

Ford leaves Ontario’s sports organizations to figure out reopening on their own

HAMILTON – Paul Miller, Official Opposition NDP Critic for Tourism and Sport, and MPP for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, is calling on the Ford government to step up and provide proper health and safety guidelines to all sport organizations in Ontario, so they can safely navigate reopening.

“Doug Ford can’t just give sports organizations the green light to restart their activities and then walk away,” said Miller. “The Ford government needs to step up and clarify what the boundaries are and what the health and safety guidelines are – it’s their job to give sports organizations operating in Ontario the information and support they need to begin reopening safely.”

While nearly all parts of the province are in Stage 3 of the reopening process and professional leagues have returned with new limits, hundreds of thousands of young athletes have been left to wonder when and how it will be safe for them to play with their teammates, see their coaches and follow their dreams again.

Organizational leaders from Baseball Ontario to Skate Ontario have been begging for proper, government approved, health and safety protocols on how their sports are to operate.

“The Ford government also has to strongly encourage the insurance industry to act in good faith with Ontario’s many sporting organizations, instead of using this temporary scenario as an opportunity to make a quick buck,” Miller added. “To keep Ontario’s athletes safe and ensure the long-term health of sports in our province, the Ford government has to do the work by setting up proper guidelines, liability protections and working with insurers.

“Otherwise, Ontario’s athletes will continue to lose more of their summer, and the organizers, staff and volunteers that are the lifeblood of amateur sport organizations will come ever closer to making the heartbreaking decision to close up shop entirely.”