March 12th, 2020

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath responds to government announcement on Ontario school closures

QUEEN’S PARK — “Thank you to Dr. David Williams and Public Health officials for their continued hard work. The decision to close Ontario’s schools to contain the spread of COVID-19 was not an easy one, and I support it. The safety of children and education workers is paramount.

However, two million kids will be out of school and hundreds of thousands of parents will be home from work. Parents need to be assured that they can stay home with their kids, and that they will not lose a paycheque — and cannot be fired — for doing that. Of course, parents staying home will create a ripple right through our province. TTC drivers are moms and dads. Health care staff have children of their own. Small business owners have children.

Parents and families in Ontario have a right to be concerned right now that the government is “looking at” plans to deal with the impacts that will hit families, workers, businesses, public services and the economy. These plans should have been in place well before this day came.

The people of Ontario deserve a plan for workers, the delivery of public services, and the economy, and they deserve for it to be clearly and effectively communicated to the public."