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Bill Kelly: Ontario parents still have concerns about Ford’s back-to-school plan

Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The message from Ontario parents to the Ford government seems pretty clear; many of them think it’s not safe to send their kids back to school in a couple of weeks.

Nearly 40 per cent of parents surveyed by Maru/Blue said that they will not let their children return to school in September.

READ MORE: Ontario teachers say they’re preparing for online and in-class lessons with little guidance

The survey also indicated that 74 per cent of parents would prefer that Health Minister Christine Elliot should make decisions about school openings and not Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

The Ford government has tried to characterize the opposition to its reopening plan as a ploy by teachers unions; not surprising, since the premier seems to have a thing about unions.

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Coronavirus: Doug Ford stands by back-to-school plan – Aug 18, 2020

But this survey shows that not only teachers but parents also still have significant health and safety concerns that they feel the government has not properly addressed.

Paramount among those issues are class sizes and the apparent abandoning of the social distancing protocol that health officials tell us is key to controlling the spread of the virus.

The government insists that its plan is safe, but many parents aren’t buying that.

Other jurisdictions with similar plans have seen spikes in the spread of the virus and this survey shows that a growing number of parents don’t want to put their children at risk of being one of those unfortunate statistics.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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