QUEEN’S PARK — The government voted down an motion today calling for the immediate safe re-opening of outdoor activities. MPP Sara Singh, who put forward the motion on behalf of the Official Opposition, said they won’t stop fighting to give families the freedom to get outside and participate in safe activities like cricket, basketball practice and golf.
MPP Sattler spoke to the motion: "I rise on behalf of London West seniors, families and youth that I represent who have been prohibited from participating in pickleball, tennis, golf and many other outdoor activities. Their mental health, their physical well-being, and their feelings of isolation are becoming deeper as a result."
"Governing during a pandemic doesn’t mean cherry-picking which medical advice you’re going to follow. The science table report on what works and what doesn’t work indicated clearly that discouraging outdoor activities will not work to stop the spread of COVID-19," Sattler said. "I want to say, on behalf of all the people who emailed me over the weekend, people in London West are rightly offended by what they heard from this Premier, that because his buddies are ignoring social distancing and public health guidelines and gathering for pops, that that all other Ontarians are being punished for that misbehaviour.
"Speaker, let’s open up outdoor activities and let’s get Ontarians playing again."
Government MPPs voted down Singh’s motion by a vote of 63 to 21.
If Andrea Horwath were premier today, she would follow the Science Table’s advice, including:
- Closing non-essential workplaces
- Opening safe outdoor recreation and amenities
- Focusing on hotspots
- Providing paid sick days to workers
The motion calling for the immediate safe re-opening of outdoor recreation amenities reads as follows:
That, in the opinion of House, the Ford Government should allow outdoor amenities and activities to immediately re-open safely in keeping with the recommendations of the Ontario Science Table and other public health experts as part of an overall effort to promote the mental and physical health of Ontarians during COVID-19 lockdown orders.