May 29th, 2020

Testing strategy needs firm timelines and transparent benchmarks for re-opening

QUEEN’S PARK – Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath has released a statement following the Ford government’s announcement Friday of a long-overdue testing strategy for the province:

“Testing in Ontario has been woefully inadequate from the beginning of this pandemic. It should never have taken this long to get a coherent community testing strategy on the table. With people’s lives and our economic recovery on the line, the NDP and health experts have been urging Doug Ford to dramatically ramp-up COVID-19 testing immediately with systematic testing for essential workers and people returning to work, all congregate care settings, plus mobile testing centres to start random community testing.

We not only need this strategy to test in more and different settings, we need more tests, period. Doug Ford has no excuses. While British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec have been leading the way on testing, Ontario has been lagging far behind – never once hitting the 20,000-test mark in any 24-hour period. For too long we’ve heard bluster and empty promises from Doug Ford, while his record on testing numbers has been abysmal.

Ontarians also deserve more clarity about how and when this new strategy will be rolled out. We need firm timelines with dates and benchmarks for testing workers, congregate settings and vulnerable communities.

Today we’ve seen more commitments, but what Ontarians need is action, concrete timelines and much higher testing numbers.”