Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario

NDP looks for all-party support on urgent Safe School changes as school-related cases rise

Published on February 24, 2021

QUEEN’S PARK — Andrea Horwath’s Official Opposition will ask all MPPs Wednesday morning to support urgent changes to make schools safer, giving parents and kids hope that schools will stay open this time.

“The goal is to keep schools open – and that means we need to make schools safer,” said Horwath.
“The more contagious variants are here, and school-based COVID-19 cases are on the rise again. We need urgent action and investment — because children, teachers and education workers’ safety is important, and because no one in this province can afford for us to let a third wave get started.”
On Tuesday Ontario reported 175 new school-based cases of COVID-19, and advocacy group Parents for Education released a study showing that education leaders’ top concern is crowded classes where students can’t physically distance.
“School communities are doing an incredible job, but they need more help to avoid more kids getting sick, and more school closures,” said NDP Education critic Marit Stiles (Davenport). “Once again, the NDP is here with a positive solution — the action and investment we need to keep students and staff safe, and keep our schools open.
“Our changes would cap class sizes at 15, institute a comprehensive in-school COVID-19 testing program, and improve air quality in schools.”
The Official Opposition will use a unanimous consent motion to call on all MPPs to pass the motion at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
The Ford government has blocked this NDP motion once, but Horwath and the Official Opposition are committed to keep pushing for the action and investment needed to put the end of the pandemic within reach, and help people get there.