March 13th, 2020

Horwath asks COVID-19 questions on behalf of Ontarians

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath is asking Doug Ford and his government to provide families, child care centres and other organizations with answers to specific questions regarding the COVID-19 situation the province is facing.

“I continue to offer to Mr. Ford the help of the Official Opposition as COVID-19 concerns deepen in Ontario. The Official Opposition wants to be constructive partners in containing the spread of this virus — and also ensuring Ontarians and Ontario businesses are supported throughout this pandemic, and through the recovery,” said Horwath.

“Over the last several days, NDP MPP offices have been inundated with questions — the same sorts of questions we’re all hearing in our own communities and seeing on social media. Today, I’m posing those questions, and asking for the answers to be effectively communicated throughout Ontario.”

The questions the NDP is asking on behalf of Ontarians include:

  • Should parents be sending their kids to child care centres, or should those centres close over the next three weeks?
  • What compensation will there be for waged workers who miss work to stay home with their children during the school closures?
  • What protections will be in place to ensure workers cannot be fired or disciplined for missing work during this period?
  • What provisions are being made for the children of health care workers who will be desperately needed during this pandemic?
  • What economic supports will be available to small and medium-sized businesses that do the right thing and provide staff with the ability to stay home with their children, or to self-isolate?
  • If Ontarians fall behind on their rents or mortgages through no fault of their own, how will they be protected from losing their home?

Horwath also said the necessary supports for people and businesses may require legislation, and it would need to be passed quickly.

“The ongoing operations of the legislature requires an all-party response. I am prepared to work with the government, around-the-clock, to develop a package of plans, and support the effort to publicly, effectively communicate those plans,” said Horwath.