Doug Ford wants Ontario to be just like Alberta. In one way, at least. In the provincial briefing on the state of COVID-19 in Ontario on Tuesday, May 5, the premier discussed the province's rate of testing. He did not hold back in his assessment of his chief medical officers and says the province should be looking at adopting the Albertan health model once this is all over.
Although Ontario is consistently testing for COVID-19, it's not enough for Ford.
"They're doing a great job, they were hitting 17,000 consistently, then all of a sudden you come in and see the 10,000. I still say everyone's doing a great job but when I look at the chart, it starts up here and comes all the way down," said Ford during the daily briefing.
And he slammed the structure of the province's health system as having played a part in the lower testing rate.
Notably, he suggested that once Ontario is out the other side of the pandemic, it should look west to another province for an overhaul of the health care system.
"We need to review it and start looking at the Alberta model. It's a lot easier to have one person in control than 30 people in control," Ford continued.
"I'll tell you right now I'm disappointed in the medical officers in certain regions. I'm not gonna name them, they know who they are."
And the premier doubled down on his criticism of some of the province's chief medical officers.
"Keep in mind we have 34 chief medical officers across the province. Some just aren't performing! I'm calling them out right now. You've got to pick up the pace!" Ford said, his voice rising.
"We also have to test the public," he stressed. "These people are smart people, just continue testing! Don't get me wrong, other CMOs are knocking it out the park. But half of them aren't," he added.
Per the Calgary Herald, as of April 28, Alberta was testing people at nearly twice the rate of Ontario.
Ontario's dedicated COVID-19 page reports that as of the last update, which reflects data from May 4, the province has conducted 352,714 tests for the virus.
In the previous 24 hours, 10,654 tests were completed.
Back on April 8, Ford had slammed his province's comparatively low testing rate and called for an immediate increase to 13,000 per day.
The province had hit that mark on several days since that speech but has fallen back to considerably below it per the latest data.
Both Ontario and Alberta have begun the first steps of their respective reopening processes.