August 31, 2020, Premier Doug Ford announced an investment of $9.3 million in 11 training projects to help students and job seekers prepare for careers in the auto and advanced manufacturing sectors. Training projects range from hands-on learning opportunities for students, to short-duration college courses that will help laid-off workers gain credentials for jobs in these sectors.
Premier Ford was joined by Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Monte McNaughton and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli.
Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford responded to questions from media and addressed the province’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Late last week, Ontario loosened COVID-19 restrictions surrounding day trip and overnight outings for long-term care home residents.
Questions from Media – Response to COVID-19
Relationship with Teachers’ Unions
In response to questions about Ontario teachers’ unions filing a labour board complaint over Ontario’s school reopening plan, Premier Ford said that he is “begging” teachers’ unions to cooperate with the government, adding that the government has responded to nearly every request of the teachers’ unions to ensure the safety of schools ahead of the upcoming school year.
In response to questions about collapsing classrooms, whereby schools combine several classrooms with low enrollment into a single classroom, Premier Ford said that decisions on whether to implement this approach would be up to individual school boards. He added that the government is giving boards the necessary authority and funding to make sure that classrooms are safe.
When asked about a COVID-19 outbreak at a childcare centre in Haldimand-Norfolk, Premier Ford responded bluntly that outbreaks will occur when Ontario students return to schools. He added that there are protocols in place for proper sanitation and reopening and reiterated that he would not hesitate to close schools again if in the event of rapid growth in the number of new cases of COVID-19.
New Directive Enabling Resumption of Outings for Long-Term Care Residents
On August 28, Ontario loosened restrictions surrounding outings for residents of long-term care. Effective immediately residents are once again permitted to leave their long-term care facilities for day trips and overnight absences.
For absences which do not require an overnight stay, homes are required to provide residents with a medical mask to be worn at all times while outside the facility, and to remind residents of the importance of adhering to public health measures. Residents must be screened upon their return but are not required to be tested for COVID-19 or to self-isolate.
Residents who leave for overnight absences will be required to self-isolate for 14 days when they return to their long-term care home. Allowing these outings will be at the discretion of each long-term care facility, and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis according to safety factors.