Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario

NDP calls for provincial game plan on kids’ sports

Published on June 17, 2021

MPPs ask experts to make public recommendation

QUEEN’S PARK — Wayne Gates, NDP MPP for Niagara Falls, and Paul Miller, Official Opposition critic for Sports, are asking for experts to make a public recommendation on kids’ sports to help guide a game plan for the safe return of outdoor leagues in Ontario. Gates and Miller said young people’s mental and physical health depend on it.
“Helping kids get back to baseball diamonds and soccer fields could boost their mental and physical health at a time when they really need it,” said Miller. “Young people are suffering from anxiety and isolation after being separated from their friends while schools stayed closed for months.
“The government passed up the opportunity to get students back into the classroom before the summer, but it’s not too late to take steps to give kids a chance to safely get outside and play team sports.”
Gates said the government should seek advice from public health experts, and make it public. Experts from the Science Table have said outdoor activity is safe, but league sports like youth softball is largely on hold until the next reopening stage. 
“Let’s leave politics on the bench and ask the experts to provide public recommendations on how and when we can get outdoor leagues safely back out on the field as soon as possible,” said Gates. “We have a game plan for professional athletes. Where’s the game plan for kids’ sports? The well-being of young people should be a priority as the province re-opens.”