Laura Mae Lindo MPP, Kitchener Centre

Government of Ontario

Student testing announcement far too small, very late

Published on November 26, 2020

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Education critic Marit Stiles responded to an announcement Thursday from Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce allowing some students in participating schools in Ottawa, Toronto, Peel and York regions to access asymptomatic testing:
“To date, 4,350 children, teachers and education workers have gotten sick from COVID-19, and two education workers have died. Half the schools in the province have already had cases of COVID-19. Doug Ford is brushing off all that illness and danger because he’d rather save a buck than invest to protect students.

Today’s announcement is a half-measure. Some students in some regions may be able to get tests. According to the government, the location and method for testing will vary between regions and cities, regions will have to develop their own plan, and the program ends in four weeks.
Ford’s still trying to cheap out on testing students, teachers and staff, and that’s not good enough. Even the small re-announcement today of previously announced money is now restricted to just four school boards, leaving millions of kids out.
Investing in schools will pay off big time for us all. We can nip a lot of community spread in the bud by helping more people get tests and by funding public health to properly contact trace each case. By lowering class sizes to 15, upgrading HVAC systems, and investing in safety measures like touchless faucets, we can save so many students and staff from illness.”