October 27, 2020, Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, announced that Ontario is investing an additional $116.5 million to further increase hospital capacity. As a result of this investment, 766 new hospital beds will be added at 32 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province.
Premier Ford and Minister Elliott were joined by Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, Prabmeet Sarkaria. Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford responded to questions from media regarding the ongoing response to COVID-19 in Ontario.
Investment to Increase Hospital Capacity
This afternoon, Premier Ford and Minister Elliott announced an investment of $116.5 million to further increase capacity at 32 hospitals and alternate health facilities across the province. In total, 766 beds will be added in order to reduce surgical backlogs from the first wave of the pandemic, while continuing to build surge capacity. The additional beds will be critical to adding capacity for hospitals in COVID-19 hotspots, including Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York region.
Funding announced today is in addition to the $2.8 billion already announced in Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, which included $234.5 million specifically for additional critical care and hospital beds.
Questions from Media – Response to COVID-19
Food Delivery Commission Fees
Premier Ford was asked about a motion put forward by Toronto City Councillor Michael Ford, the Premier’s nephew, which asks the provincial government to cap commission fees for food delivery service companies. In response, Premier Ford said that he is supportive of the motion and will have a conversation with Toronto Mayor John Tory on the subject. He added that the government needs to act to protect struggling restaurant owners and that food delivery services charging high commission fees are “price gouging” the province’s small business owners.
MPP Sam Oosterhoff
Premier Ford was again asked about the large group photo taken at an indoor restaurant and featuring MPP Sam Oosterhoff, in which no one is social distancing or wearing a mask. In response, Premier Ford reminded all Ontarians to wear face coverings in indoor public settings, but reiterated that there will not be repercussions for MPP Oosterhoff.