Doug Ford criticized for not wearing a mask at Queen’s Park | Rare Techy
Ontario Premier Doug Ford was criticized Tuesday for not wearing one in the legislature one day after the province’s top doctor recommended wearing them indoors.
Fewer than a dozen Progressive Conservative MPPs were seen wearing face masks during question period on Tuesday.
A video from the legislature shows some cabinet ministers, including the prime minister and education minister Stephen Lecce, sitting without masks while young pages stood directly in front of them.
NDP interim leader Peter Tabuns called out the premier for his lack of leadership at a time when hospitals are overwhelmed.
“Yesterday, the Chief Health Officer recommended that all adults wear masks indoors to protect our children. The Prime Minister, the speaker, said he would take the advice of the medical examiner into consideration. Why isn’t the Prime Minister taking the lead and wearing a mask to protect our children?
The Prime Minister did not respond to Tabuns’ question, choosing instead to refer questions to House Speaker Paul Calandra and Health Minister Sylvia Jones.
Calandra didn’t wear a mask either. Jones, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 a few weeks ago, wore it.
Here is Health Secretary Sylvia Jones wearing a mask, the only member of the Cabinet to do so. Says we shouldn’t judge people’s personal choices #onpoli pic.twitter.com/VFi81Tezf3
— Siobhan Morris (@siomoCTV) November 15, 2022
On Monday, Dr Kieran Moore said he strongly recommends masking in all public indoor spaces to help contain the spread of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus.
“All three are actively spreading in Ontario in all of our communities and throughout the Western Hemisphere, contributing to the pressure on our children’s health care system. As the risk to Ontarians increases, we need to use all available layers of protection,” Moore said, adding that his recommendation includes wearing masks in social settings or at home when the person feels bad.
There is currently no mask mandate implemented in Ontario.
Ford has previously urged Ontarians to “wear a mask whenever possible.”
“Wear a mask whenever you can, number one. Second, get a shot if you haven’t already and get a flu shot. These are my recommendations. “
But on Tuesday, it appeared the Prime Minister was not following the same advice.
When asked about his decision not to wear a mask, Calandra said the government has taken full control of the pandemic since its inception.
“Every time we’ve introduced a measure to improve health care in the province of Ontario, they’ve voted against it,” he said.
Jones also objected to NDP questions about wearing a mask.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, the Prime Minister has done nothing to protect our children and the most vulnerable,” he said. “We continue to do what the Chief Medical Officer recommends because we know it’s the right thing to do.”
Tabuns, meanwhile, argued that leadership is not about “repeating talking points in the house.”
“Leadership is listening to the advice of the health doctor, what the prime minister says he will do, and acting on it.”
The Prime Minister did not speak on this issue.
Speaking to reporters after the briefing, Jones said people have to make their own choices and that “we shouldn’t be making judgments.”
“People make decisions based on personal circumstances,” he said. “Personal choice is important here.”
Jones added that members of the public should “consider the size of the building” and “the size of the room” when it comes to his colleague PC MPPS.
In the provincial parliament, 124 members of the legislature participate in question period, excluding staff, newspapers, members of the press and members in the public gallery.
Moore did not say anything about the size of the room when making his recommendations Monday.