August 27, 2020, Premier Doug Ford and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones announced a modernization strategy for correctional facilities in the Eastern Ontario region. This strategy will involve building a new Greater Ottawa Correctional Complex, replacing the Brockville Jail with a new facility, expanding the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre and Quinte Detention Centre, and renovating the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre. New construction and building upgrades will address issues of overcrowding and create new spaces for the delivery of mental health services, inmate programming and staff training.

Premier Ford and Solicitor General Jones were joined by MPP for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, Minister Steve Clark.

Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford responded to questions from media and addressed the province’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further Details

Questions from Media – Response to COVID-19

Back-to-School Plan

In response to continued questions about class sizes, Premier Ford outlined government funding which may be used by school boards to support the hiring of additional educators to lower class sizes. Federal investments include $100 million to school boards to address local health and safety priorities plus an additional $70 million specifically for the hiring of educators. The provincial government has also set aside $30 million to enable boards to hire additional educators. Premier Ford added that he has the utmost confidence that schools will be safe environments for both students and staff.

In response to questions about the appropriateness of guidelines released yesterday outlining the role of educators in identifying possible COVID-19 symptoms exhibited by children in schools, Premier Ford stressed that the responsibility of screening starts at home. He urged parents to bring their child to a physician to be tested if they begin exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. An extra layer of protection is added by also encouraging teachers, administrators and principals to be on the lookout for signs of illness within the school setting.

Success of Stage Three

When asked to comment on the success of stage three, now that the majority of the province has been in this stage of reopening for almost four weeks, Premier Ford praised all of Ontario’s public health regions for their great efforts in safely reopening and said that he has confidence in the province’s public health system. He added that of the 118 cases reported today, 89 are concentrated within the four regions of Ottawa, Toronto, Peel, and Windsor-Essex.