Ontario, yours to discover. Except, you know, not right now. During the provincial government's daily briefing on COVID-19 in Ontario on April 29, Premier Doug Ford was asked about the possibility of controlling movement between Ontario and other Canadian provinces. He shared some pretty clear and strong words for anyone wanting to come into the province right now.
Ford spoke at Queen's Park to reporters at around 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
The Premier was asked if he was considering trying to control movement from those hoping to travel to Ontario, in particular from Quebec.
"We've said over and over again, and I've mentioned it to Premier Legault, we don't want people right now coming across the borders," Ford stressed.
"I love Quebecers, I love people from Manitoba, but stay at home. The same goes for the U.S. as well, stay at home."
Ford made sure to make clear that social distancing measures are in effect for everyone right now, and it is absolutely not the time to be crossing provincial lines.
"It's nothing personal, we just can't afford the spread of the virus here in Ontario, we're doing so well," he added.
"So, I'll emphasize it again: If you don't live in Ontario, stay at home. When this is over, we'll welcome you with open arms. But we just can't risk it."
Ford had previously come down hard on U.S. President Donald Trump for the apparent suggestion of reopening the Canadian-American border.
"Absolutely not," was the provincial PC leader's response.
Ford's speech on Wednesday came just hours after Ontario's COVID-19 update showed the lowest increase in cases in several weeks.
This is Ford’s second time referencing Quebec in the past week after he questioned his Premier counterpart Francois Legault’s decision on reopening schools.
Ontario won’t be following the same suit, Ford insisted.
Also this week, the province announced its early framework as to how to reopen once the spread decreases significantly.
In order for the province to get back to normality, it will evaluate three stages to slowly open up stores.
However, several weeks of monitoring would be required at each stage.
If Ontario were to allow other people to enter the province right now, that could risk jeopardizing the control of the community spread, health staff fear.
It’s been made crystal clear: Ford won’t take any chances.