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Halton Region MPPs, mayors push back on modified Stage 2 plans

Last Updated Oct 24, 2020 at 11:38 pm EST

On the day the province reported an all-time high in the number of new COVID-19 cases, a group of MPPs and mayors from Halton Region have sent a letter to Ontario’s top doctor asking not to be taken back into a modified Stage 2.

In the letter, MPPs Parm Gill (Milton), Jane McKenna (Burlington), Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz call on Dr. David Williams to provide more clarity around the criteria being considered for such a move.

Even though Halton’s Medical Officer of Health is pushing for a move to a modified Stage 2, the group states there is no evidence to suggest it will have “any meaningful impact” and asking instead to target certain high-risk activities and locations rather than impose blanket restrictions.

“During the height of COVID-19, the majority of Ontarians accepted unprecedented restrictions in order to stop the spread and flatten the curve. Now, nearly 7 months later the public is demanding more than just the blanket statement of ‘on the advice of medical experts’,” reads a portion of the letter.

The group points out that when York Region was moved to a modified Stage 2, their positivity rate had reached a high-alert level – something they say has not yet happened in Halton Region.

“Instead of imposing blanket measures, Halton residents are asking that we target activities and locations that pose the highest risk of transmission, including limiting non-essential travel outside of identified hotspots.”

On Saturday, the Halton Regional Public Health unit reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 – a slight decline from the 34 reported the previous day.

Premier Doug Ford indicated Friday that a decision on whether tighter restrictions are coming for Halton Region would be announced Monday.

Read the full letter below: