December 3, 2020, Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, reiterated their calls on the federal government to provide clarity regarding the timeline for Ontario to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines, as well as the quantity and type of vaccine. Premier Ford was clear that, while the initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines will be limited, everyone in Ontario who wishes to be vaccinated for COVID-19 will be able to receive the vaccine.
The full membership of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force will be announced tomorrow.
Premier Ford and Minister Elliott were joined by Minister of Finance, Rod Phillips, and Solicitor General, Sylvia Jones. Following this afternoon’s announcement, Premier Ford and Minister Elliott responded to questions from media.
Earlier today, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, announced the first recipients of the new Reconnect Festival and Event Program, and the Tourism Economic Development Recovery Fund.
Questions from Media
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force
When asked why Ontario has taken so long to announce the membership of its COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force and preliminary details of its approach to vaccine distribution, Minister Elliott assured Ontarians that work has already been underway for months within the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Solicitor General. She added that the province will be ready to act as soon as vaccines land in Ontario.
CDC Shortens Recommended Quarantine Length
Minister Elliott was asked about the recent decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to shorten the recommended quarantine period after someone is exposed to COVID-19, from 14 days to 10 days. In response, Minister Elliott confirmed that Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is actively looking into the CDC’s recommendation.
Tourism Industry Funding Recipients
Earlier today, Minister MacLeod announced the first recipients of the Reconnect Festival and Event Program, and the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund. This funding is intended to support the delivery of innovative and safe experiences, such as virtual festivals and events, and support tourism operators during COVID-19.
A list of the first 27 events and initiatives receiving support through the Reconnect Festival and Event Program can be found here. Funding recipients include a number of virtual, drive-through, and safe event offerings.
A list of the first 14 events and initiatives receiving support through the Tourism Economic Development and Recovery Fund can be found here. This fund is an application-based, cost-sharing program which will provide funding for projects that encourage the development of new tourism products, support tourism investment, or build the capacity of Ontario’s tourism industry.