June 17, 2020, Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott addressed media as Ontario marked three months since the provincial Declaration of Emergency was issued in response to COVID-19. The province also extended all emergency orders currently in force under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act this morning until June 30.
Following his remarks this afternoon, Premier Ford answered questions from media regarding plans to reopen schools in September and whether certain measures implemented during the pandemic would become permanent.
Earlier today, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced investments of up to $10 million in emergency assistance for beef and hog farmers to cover increased costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Questions from Media
Premier Ford was asked about a document released today by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), which outlines recommendations for school reopening in September. Premier Ford confirmed that Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, will soon roll out a plan detailing a safe return to school in September. The government will also be meeting with unions to discuss strategies to ensure that educators feel safe when schools reopen. Premier Ford assured reporters that the jobs of educators who remain unable to work due to COVID-19 will be protected.
Premier Ford was also asked whether certain emergency measures that were implemented during COVID-19 will remain in place once the pandemic is over, including allowing for alcohol takeout and delivery from restaurants, curbside pickup from cannabis retailers, and virtual courtrooms. In response, Premier Ford said that the government will review measures that have worked well during the pandemic, emphasizing that Ontario can learn lessons from the past few months.
Support for Beef and Hog Farmers
Earlier today, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced investments of up to $10 million in emergency assistance for beef and hog farmers. The funding will help cover the increased costs of feeding market ready cattle and hogs due to COVID-19-related processing delays, while redirecting surplus pork products to help those in need.