Transcript: Question Period: Monday, May 10, 2021 | May 11, 2021

A still camera shows the Ontario Legislature. A caption on screen reads "Question Period."

The Speaker stands. He's is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short light brown hair. He wears a black robe.

Few members sit inside the chamber. They wear facemasks.

The Speaker says It is now TIME FOR ORAL QUESTIONS. I RECOGNIZE THE LEADER FOR HER MAJESTY'S ROYAL OPPOSITION.

The caption changes to "Andrea Horwath. NDP. Leader the Official Opposition."

Horwath is in her fifties, with straight blond hair in a bob. She wears a magenta blazer over a black shirt, and a silver pendant necklace.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY FIRST QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE SO PERHAPS SOMEBODY ON THE GOVERNMENT SIDE WILL BE ABLE TO RESPONDS. THE LONG-TERM CARE COMMISSION REPORT AS WE ALL KNOW IS PUBLIC FOR SOME TIME. THE REPORT HAS INTERESTING, YOU KNOW, POINTS IN. ONE OF WHICH IS AND I QUOTE... "26 RESIDENTS DIED DUE TO DEHYDRATION PRIOR TO THE ARRIVAL OF THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES TEAM. THEY DIED WHEN ALL NEEDED WAS WATER AND A WIPEDOWN. THAT WAS THE SUBMISSION THAT THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES REPORT MADE TO THE COMMISSION. THE QUESTION THAT I HAVE FOR THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE IS THE SAME ONE I ASKED FOR OVER A WEEK NOW AND STILL HAVE NOT HAD AN ANSWER TO. THE QUESTION IS, WHEN DID THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE LEARN THAT SENIORS IN OUR LONG-TERM CARE SYSTEM WERE DYING FROM NEGLECT AND DEHYDRATION?

The Speaker says THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

The caption changes to "Honourable Paul A. Calandra. PC. Government House Leader."

Calandra is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt and silver tie.

He says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. OBVIOUSLY WHEN WE HAVE HEARD OF THIS THE MINISTRY REACHED OUT TO THE COMMISSION AT THE SAME TIME. THE CHIEF CORONER IS ENGAGE AND WE ASKED FOR FULL DOCUMENTS WITH RESPECT TO ALL THE DEATHS IN LONG-TERM CARE, MR. SPEAKER, AND WE'LL BE ACTING ON THE COMMISSION OF THE CHIEF CORONER.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Horwath says SPEAKER, THE "THE GLOBE and MAIL" HAS A STORY TODAY THAT SAYS PRETTY CLEARLY THAT THOSE 26 DEATHS THAT OCCURRED IN LONG-TERM CARE CENTRE IN DOWNSVIEW CALLED DOWNSVIEW LONG-TERM CARE BUT THOSE DEATHS ALSO OCCURRED IN OTHER HOMES. IN FACT, THE CAS SAYS THIS IN THEIR REPORT. COVID FATALITIES PALE IN COMPARISON FROM DEATH FROM OTHER CAUSES, DEHYDRATION, NEGLECT, STARVATION. KATHY PARKS LOST HER FATHER IN ORCHARD VILLA TO COVID-19 SAYS THIS, AND I QUOTE "IF I HAD MY FATHER AT HOME WITH ME AND I DIDN'T FEED HIM AND I DIDN'T GIVE HIM WATER AND DIDN'T GIVE HIM MEDICATION OR SEND HIM TO HOSPITAL I WOULD BE CRIMINALLY CHARGED." SO MY QUESTION TO THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE IS WHEN DID SHE FIND OUT, WHEN DID SHE KNOW THAT SENIORS IN LONG-TERM CARE IN OUR PROVINCE IN ONTARIO WERE DYING OF NEGLECT AND DEHYDRATION DEHYDRATION?

The Speaker says GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says AGAIN, ONCE THE FINAL REPORT WAS ISSUED BY THE COMMISSION OF COURSE THE ANYONE INDUSTRY DID REACH OUT TO THE COMMISSION AT THE SAME TIME AND THE CHIEF OR NOR HAS BEEN ENGAGED TO LOOK AT ALL DEATHS IN LONG-TERM CARE AS I'M SURE THAT ALL MEMBERS WOULD EXPECT. ONCE THAT DOOMS HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND THOROUGHLY REVIEWED BY THE CORONER AND BY THE MINISTRY WE'LL ACT ON THE ACCOMMODATION THAT IS WE RECEIVE.

The Speaker says THE FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.

Horwath says SPEAKER, THE MINISTER'S NOTEBOOK WAS OBTAINED BY THE COMMISSION. ONCE OF THE NOTES FOUND THEREIN WAS WRITTEN BY THE MINISTER APRIL 17, 2020 AND SHE WROTE "MILITARY PLAN NEEDED. GET THEM IN WITHIN 24 TO 48 HOURS." THAT WAS APRIL 17. IT TOOK 12 WHOLE DAYS FOR THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES TO ARRIVE AT HAWTHORN PLACE. IT WASN'T UNTIL EARLY JUNE THAT THEY SHOWED UP AT ORCHARD VILL LAUGH. SO MY QUESTION IS WHEN DID THE MINISTER OF LONG-TERM CARE LEARN THAT ONTARIO SENIORS LIVING IN LONG-TERM CARE WERE DYING OF NEGLECT AND DEHYDRATION?

The Speaker says GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says THANK YOU, SPEAKER, WE'RE GRATEFUL FOR THE WORK THAT THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES DID IN INSISTING US AND ONE OF THE SERIES OF MEASURES THAT THE GOVERNMENT TOOK DURING THE FIRST WAVE, MR. SPEAKER, AS YOU KNOW IT WAS A VERY CHALLENGING TIME. WE ARE OF COURSE ENGAGED WITH THE CHIEF CORONER AS MEMBERS WOULD EXPECT, ALL DEATHS AND LONG-TERM CARE HOMES WILL BE REVIEWED BY THE CHIEF CORONER ONCE WE SEEK THAT ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION, MR. SPEAKER, WE WILL BE TAKING ACTION. THANK YOU.

[SOME APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THE NEXT QUESTION. LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION.

Horwath says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THE NEXT QUESTION IS FOR THE MINISTER OF HEALTH. SPEAKER, THIS MORNING THE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE ISSUED A REPORT THAT TALKED ABOUT THE SURGICAL WAIT BACKLOG THAT'S WAITING HERE IN ONTARIO. IN FACT THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER SAYS THIS, IT'S A 419200 SURGICAL BACKLOG THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW IN THIS PROVINCE. AS WELL AS 2.5 MILLION PEOPLE WAITING FOR DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURES AS OF THIS SEPTEMBER ALONE. SPEAKER, THIS IS PRETTY FRIGHTENING. THIS IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH. THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE WASN'T PAYING, ANXIETY AND WORRY ABOUT THE PROCEDURES THAT HAVE BEEN POSTPONED AND THE SURGERIES THAT HAVE BEEN POSTPONED. WHERE IS THE MINISTER'S PLAN TO GET RID OF, TO DEAL WITH THE SURGICAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKLOG IN HURR PROVINCE?... IN OUR PROVINCE?

The caption changes to "Honourable Christine Elliott. PC. Minister of Health."

Elliott is in her late fifties, with shoulder-length blond hair. She wears a black dress.

She says THANK YOU TO THE LEADER OF THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION FOR THE QUESTION. WE ARE AWARE THAT THERE ARE NO A NUMBER OF DIAGNOSTIC AND SURGICAL PROCEDURES DELAYED BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND WAVES AND NOW DURING A THIRD WAVE. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS PANDEMIC THERE HAVE BEEN OVER 420,000 SURGERIES THAT HAVE BEEN PERFORMED. THERE IS AN ANALYSIS THAT IS DONE ON ANYONE WITH A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM. BE IT CANCER CARE OR CARDIAC CARE. IF THEY NEED SURGERY. IF IT'S A LIFER DEATH PROCEDURE THEY WILL GET THAT SURGERY BUT FOR OTHER PROCEDURES THEY CAN BE DELAYED AND UNFORTUNATELY THEY HAVE TO BE, I KNOW THIS ISN'T GREAT NEWS FOR PEOPLE WAITING FOR A LONG-TIME BUT WE SIMPLY NEED THE SPACE RIGHT NOW FOR COVID PATIENTS. WE DO HAVE A PLAN AND WE HAD PLAN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS PANDEMIC WHICH I WOULD BE PLEASED TO OUTLINE IN THE SUPPLEMENTAL, SPEAKER, THANK YOU.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Horwath says WELL, SPEAKER, 419,200 SURGERIES IS A HECK OF A LOT OF SURGERIES. 2.5 MILLION DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURES THAT'S A HECK A LOT OF PROCEDURES. THE FAO PREDICTS THAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE AT LEAST THREE YEARS TO CLEAR THESE BACKLOGS, THE SURGERY BACKLOG PARTICULARLY. IN BRITISH COLUMBIA 95 percent OF THE BACKLOG SURGERIES WERE CLEARED AS OF THIS PAST MARCH, 2021. THE FAO FOUND UNFORTUNATELY THAT INSTEAD OF SPENDING THE MONEY NECESSARY WITH A REAL PLAN TO REDUCE THE BACKLOG THIS GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN CUTTING CORNERS AND HAS BARELY FUNDED HALF OF THE NECESSARY RESOURCES AND NECESSARY MONEY TO CLEAR THE BACKLOG. SO MY QUESTION IS TO THE MINISTER WHY IS SHE FAILING TO UNVEIL A REAL PLAN TO CLEAR THE BACKLOG AND REFUSING TO INVEST THE NECESSARY MONEY?

The Speaker says MINISTER OF HEALTH.

Elliott says IN FACT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS A PLAN AND WE HAVE COMMITTED RESOURCES, THE PLAN HAS BEEN INDICATED TO USE THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION AND TO THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO. LAST FALL WE SPENT AN EXTRA 200 MILLION DOLLARS IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE SURGICAL BACKLOGS. THIS WAS INCREASED WITH THE BUDGET THIS YEAR, PART OF THE 1.8 BILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT WAS ANOTHER 300 MILLION DOLLARS TO REDUCE THE BACKLOG. THAT'S 500 MILLION DOLLARS TO ENGAGE IN SURGERIES DURING EVENINGS AND ON WEEKENDS TO INCREASE THE VOLUME OF SURGERIES THAT WE'RE ABLE TO DO. WE SET OUT A SURGICAL WAITLIST ACROSS A NUMBER OF HOSPITALS ON A REGIONAL BASIS TO USE EVERY SINGLE OPERATING ROOM AND THAT IS THERE A PROCEDURE WHEREBY SOME SURGERIES ARE TRANSFERRED FROM ONE HOSPITAL TO ANOTHER IF THEFT SPACE. IF WE ALSO INSTITUTED A SURGICAL SMOOTHING, ALL OF THESE PROGRAMS ARE WORKING. WE HAVE HAD TO POSTPONE THEM AND THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THE NUMBERS IN ICU ARE AT 828 TODAY. THAT'S NOT A GREAT NUMBER. BY NORMAL STANDARDS. BUT IT IS GOING DOWN.

The Speaker says THANK YOU. FINAL SUPPLEMENTARY.

Horwath says SPEAKER, THE INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE HAS SHOWN IN THAT REPORT THIS MORNING THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS FAILING TO INVEST THE NECESSARY FUNDS BY ALMOST DOUBLE. IF THEY DOUBLED WHAT THEY'VE INVESTED MAYBE WE'D GET SOME OF THOSE SURGERIES CLEARED QUICKER. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? LIVES REMAIN ON THE LINE HERE. FOLKS MIGHT REMEMBER A WOMAN WAITING FOR CANCER SURGERY AND SHE SAID THIS TO CITYNEWS RECENTLY HOW SHE FEELS WITH HER SURGERY BEING DELAYED. IT'S FRUSTRATING, IT'S TERRIFYING, THE GOVERNMENT HAS KNOWN FOR MONTHS THIS WAS HAPPENING. THEY TABLED THE BUDGET THAT SHORTED THE RESOURCES NECESSARY TO CLEAR THE BACKLOG IN SURGICAL PROCEDURES AND DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURES. WHEN WILL THE GOVERNMENT MAKE THE COMMITMENT TO DOUBLE THE AMOUNT THAT THEY'VE INVESTED AND ENSURE THAT THERE IS A PUBLIC PLAN THAT SHOWS HOW THEY'RE GOING TO GET THIS PROBLEM DEALT WITH.

The Speaker says THE MINISTER OF HEALTH.

Elliott says LAST YEAR 88 percent OF THE HOSPITALS ACHIEVED SURGICAL TARGETS. USING THE PLAN WE SET OUT WHICH WE WILL GET BACK TO AS SOON AS WE'RE AGE BUT WE'VE TO PUT 500 MILLION DOLLARS INTO EXPANDING THE HOURS FOR THE SURGERIES TO BE DONE AND INVESTED THE MONEY TO CREATE OVER 3400 NEW BEDS IN HOSPITALS. 285 MORE INTENSIVE CARE BEDS AND WE INVESTED MORE INTO HOME AND COMMUNITY BE CHARACTERS SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS SO THOSE PEOPLE WHO DON'T NEED TO BE IN HOSPITAL CAN GO HOME AND HAVE PRONES THE HAD HE THEY NEED WHETHER IT'S NURSING OR PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKERS. ADDITION TO THE 500 MILLION DOLLARS ALREADY DISCUSSED WE PUT HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, OVER 5 BILLION DOLLARS INTO OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM SINCE THE BEGINNING. WHILE IT IS VERY UNFORTUNATE, I KNOW PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WAITING A LONG TIME TO HAVE THEIR SURGERIES DONE AND THIS IS SOMETHING WE ARE LOOKING AT ON A DAILY BASIS BECAUSE WE ARE ALSO ANXIOUS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN GET BACK TO REDUCE THAT GO BACKLOG AND GETTING PEOPLE BACK TO THEIR NORMAL LIVES AND WORK.

The Speaker says THE MEMBER FOR BRAMPTON EAST.

The caption changes to "Gurratan Singh. NDP. Brampton East."

Singh is in his late thirties, with a prominent full beard. He wears glasses, a pink turban, a gray suit, gray shirt, and black tie.

He says MY SPEAKER IS TO THE QUESTION. SPEAKER WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD BE DOING EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO GET VACCINES TO COVID-19 HOT SPOTS AND TO FIGHT VACCINE HESITANCY, THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT'S MIXED MESSAGES ARE NOT HELPING ANYONE. ON THURSDAY THE CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATE MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESSES CONFUSED ONTARIANS BY SUGGESTING THAT THE PFIZER VACCINES THE SAME VACCINE THAT ONTARIANS RECEIVED OVER 4.5 MILLION DOSES IS NOT AS EFFECTIVE AS IT COULD BE. DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATE MINISTER REPRESENTATIVE OF BRAMPTON, A CITY ONE OF THE WORST HIT BY THE COVID-19 CRISIS IN THIS ENTIRE COUNTRY AND FOLKS KNOW THEY'RE NOT RECEIVING AS MANY VACCINES AS THEY NEED TO PROTECT LIVES. WHY IS THE CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATE MINISTER GOING OUT OF HIS WAY TO CONFUSE PEOPLE ABOUT EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS VACCINE WHEN COMMUNITIES LIKE BRAMPTON NEED IT.

[SOME APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says THANK YOU, THE MINISTER IS NOT DOING ANYTHING OF THE SORT. THE MINISTER IS HIGHLIGHTING, THE MINISTER FOR BRAMPTON IS HIGHLIGHTING THE FACT THAT WE REMAIN TROUBLED BY THE INEXCUSABLE RELUCTANCE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ACT ON OUR BORDERS. WE HAVE HIGHLIGHTED ISSUES WITH BORDERS. WE'VE SEEN THE VARIANTS OF CONCERN WHICH CONTINUE TO COME THROUGH OUR BORDERS. EVEN THIS PAST WEEKEND A SIGNIFICANTLY MORE. THIS IS TROUBLING AND WE NEED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO LIVE UP TO ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO SECURE OR INTERNATIONAL BORDERS SO AS WE CONTINUE TO HIT HOT SPOTS LIKE BRAMPTON WHICH HAS SEEN A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF VACCINATIONS THAT IT'S BEEN GETTING TO CONTINUE THE GOOD WORK. WE NEED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO STEP UP AND DO WHAT WE HAVE ASKED IT TO DO. DO WHAT EVERYBODY IS ASKING. CLOSE THAT BORDER TO GET THE VARIANTS OF CONCERN UNDER CONTROL AND I ASK THE MEMBER OPPOSITE TO JOIN WITH US IN THIS. THIS IS NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE. WE SHOULD ALL BE CONCERNED WITH THE INTERNATIONAL BORDERS AND I HOPE THAT HE WILL ASSIST US.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Singh says BACK TO THE PREMIER. ONTARIANS ARE SMART, THEY LISTEN IT THE SCIENCE AND DOCTORS HAVE TOLD THEM TO TAKE ANY VACCINE AVAILABLE TO THEM. THEY KNOW THAT AFTER THIS PREMIER AND THE MINISTER OF SHOULD BE A FAILED TO BRING IN PAID SICK DAYS AND FAILED TO PROTECT LIVES AND SMALL BUSINESSES AND THE NUMBER ONE THING THAT THEY CAN DO FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES TO STAY SAFE IS TO GET VACCINATED. BUT INSTEAD OF ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO GET VACATED THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER IS CONFUSING PEOPLE. THE PFIZER VACCINE IS NOT THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE IS THAT THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER AND THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT DID NOT GET VACCINES INTO HOT SPOT COMMUNITIES LIKE MINE IN BRAMPTON. WHY IS THE MPP CONFUSING PEOPLE AT THIS CRITICAL TIME WHEN IT COULD BE PROTECTING LIVES IN BRAMPTON BY ENCOURAGE FOLKS TO GET. VACCINATED AND BY ENSURING THAT WE'RE GETTING AS MANY VACCINES AS POSSIBLE AT THIS CRITICAL TIME IN BRAMPTON.

[SOME APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says SPEAKER, THERE WAS A FAILURE IT CONTINUES TO BE A FAILURE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EARLY ON TO PROVIDE US WITH VACCINES NEED SOD THAT WE CAN DO MORE IN HOT SPOTS, MR. SPEAKER, BUT DESPITE THAT, DESPITE THE FAILING OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO GIVE US THE APPROPRIATE VACCINES IN FEBRUARY, MARCH, AND APRIL, MR. SPEAKER, WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO REDIRECT SIGNIFICANT VACCINATIONS INTO HOT SPOTS ACROSS THIS PROVINCE. WE HAVE VACCINATED OVER 6 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. IT'S ANOTHER FAILING OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHICH ALLOWS THESE VARIANTS OF CONCERN TO GET INTO OUR BORDERS IN THE FIRST PLACE. WE'VE BEEN CALLING ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR MONTHS TO CLOSE DOWN THE BORDERS IN ADVANCE OF THE UK VARIANT MAKING ITS WAY INTO THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, MR. SPEAKER, SO I WOULD ASK THE HONOURABLE GENTLEMAN IF HE WANTS TO DO THE RIGHT THING FOR BRAMPTON, WANTS TO HELP OUT IN PEEL...

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

Calandra says TO CLOSE OUR INTERNATIONAL BORDERS TO GET CONTROL OF THE SITUATION. IT'S NOT JUST VACCINES, MR. SPEAKER, IT'S ABOUT CLOSING ACCESS TO THESE VARIANTS OF CONCERN.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Willowdale.

The caption changes to "Stan Cho. PC. Willowdale."

Cho is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with black hair gelled back. He wears a black suit, white shirt, and purple tie.

He says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SPEAKER, I PICK UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF. THE STRICTER BORDERS STOPS COVID-19 BEFORE IT GETS HERE. EVERY CASE OF COVID HAVE STARTED OUTSIDE OF THIS PROVINCE. AS THE SOLICITOR GENERAL SAID THERE ARE NO COVID VARIANTS THAT ORIGINATED FROM ONTARIO. AS WE BEGIN YET ANOTHER WEEK WITH FLIGHTS COMING INTO ONTARIO'S AIRPORTS WITH POTENTIALLY MORE VARIANTS MY QUESTION TO THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, CAN THE SOLICITOR GENERAL REMIND THIS LEGISLATURE WHY STRONGER MEASURES AT OUR BORDERS ARE ESSENTIAL TO HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.

The Speaker says THE SOLICITOR GENERAL.

The caption changes to "Honourable Sylvia Jones. PC. Solicitor General."

Jones is in her sixties, with straight blond hair in a short bob. She wears glasses, a black blazer and a printed white blouse.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER, THANK YOU FOR THE MEMBER FOR RAISING THIS BECAUSE IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE UNDERSTAND WHERE THE VARIANTS ARE COMING IN AND HOW THEY GET INTO ONTARIO. IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS ALONE WE'VE HAD 43 IN EFFECT FLIGHTS THAT HAVE HAD AT LEAST ONE CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASE ON THEM. WE FOUND OUT P THAT OUT... WE FOUND THAT OUT NOT BECAUSE OF TESTING AT THE AIRPORTS BUT BECAUSE THOSE INDIVIDUALS WENT AND BOOKED THE APPOINTMENT AND GOT THE TEST AND IT CAME BACK POSITIVE BUT HOW MANY PEOPLE DID THEY INTERACT WITH BEFORE THEY GOT THAT POSITIVE RESULT BACK? THEY NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB. WE CAN DO THAT WITH OUR FEDERAL PARTNERS IF THEY WOULD TEST DOMESTIC TRAVELLERS AS THEY COME INTO ONTARIO, THANK YOU.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Cho says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THIS IS FRUSTRATING FOR ME AND MY CONSTITUENTS. ONTARIANS CONTINUE TO MAKE SACRIFICES TO HELP DEFEAT COVID-19 AND TRY AND RETURN BACK TO NORMAL. IN MOTHER'S DAY YESTERDAY, WILLOWDALE MADE INCREDIBLE SACRIFICES BUT WEREN'T ABLE TO CELEBRATE WITH THEIR FAMILIES THE VARIANTS ARE THE BIGGEST REASON WHY. THE SOLICITOR GENERAL AND SO MANY MEMBERS OF OUR CAUCUS HAVE BEEN FIERCELY ADVOCATING FOR THESE STRONGER MEASURES AT OUR BORDERS WHICH WE KNOW IS GOING TO HELP STOP THE SPREAD OF VARIANTS IN ONTARIO. SO BACK TO THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, SPEAKER. CAN SHE UPDATE THE HOUSE ON WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE TO OUR MANY LETTERS HAS BEEN SO FAR?

The Speaker says THE SOLICITOR GENERAL.

Jones says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. YES, I CAN SHARE WITH WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESPONDED WITH. REGRETTABLY THE MINISTER LEBLANC REFUSED TO ADDRESS SPECIFIC CONCERNS RAISED IN OUR LETTERS, FIRST, WE CALLED ON A BAN ON ALL NONESSENTIAL TRAVEL. MANDATORY TESTING FOR INTERPROVINCIAL TRAVELLING AND A END TO THE LOOPHOLES AT THE LAND BORDERS AND THE HOTEL QUARANTINE. WE CONTINUE TO BE CLEAR, CRYSTAL CLEAR TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. WE'RE IMPLORING THEM TO TAKE STRICTER MEASURES AT THE BORDER. I ENCOURAGEMENT PRIME MINISTER TO ACTUALLY READ THE THREATS WE SENT AND RESPOND WITH THE ACTIONS OR WHAT THEY INTEND TO DO ABOUT IT.

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THE NEXT question. The member for SCARBOROUGH SOUTHWEST.

THE CAPTION CHANGES TO "DOLY BEGUM. NDP. SCARBOROUGH SOUTHWEST."

BEGUM IS IN HER LATE THIRTIES, WITH LONG WAVY BLACK HAIR. SHE WEARS A BLUE BLAZER OVER A beige dress.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MR. SPEAKER, THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT PROMISED ONTARIANS THE BEST SICK DAYS PLAN IN NORTH AMERICA BUT WHAT THEY HAVE GIVEN US IS NOT WHAT PEOPLE ASKED FOR LET ALONE NEAR WHAT THE BEST FLAM CANADA WOULD LOOK LIKE. MR. SPEAKER, THE YUKON GIVES EVERYONE 10 DAYS OF PAID LEAVE, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. ALBERTA, SASKATCHEWAN, BRITISH COLUMBIA, ALL HAVE PAID TIME OFF FOR VACCINE APPOINTMENTS. PEI AND QUEBEC HAVE PERMANENT PAID SICK LEAVE PROGRAMS WHILE OURS EXPIRE IN SEPTEMBER. MANY OF THE CONSERVATIVES WILL HAVE TAKEN AWAY FIVE PAID SICK DAYS FROM ONTARIANS BY THE TIME THAT THEIR TURN IS UP LET ALONE PROVIDING THE BEST SICK LEAVE. THE QUESTION IS HOW DOES THIS GOVERNMENT EXPECT TO GET THIS CRISIS IN HIGHLY INFECTIOUS PLACES LIKE SCARBOROUGH UNDER CONTROL WITH THE HALF RATE BARGAIN SICK LEAVE PROGRAM? THANK YOU, SPEAKER.

The Speaker says REPLY THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND skills DEVELOPMENT.

The caption changes to "Honourable Monte McNaughton. PC. Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development."

McNaughton is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with receding short brown hair. He wears glasses, a blue suit and shirt, and a spotted tie.

He says THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I THANK THE MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR THE QUESTION. FURTHERMORE, MR. SPEAKER, I THANK THE MEMBER OPPOSITE AND ALL MEMBERS IN THIS LEGISLATURE FOR SUPPORTING OUR GOVERNMENT'S SOLUTIONS TO THIS. TO BRING FORWARD A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF 23 PAID SICK DAYS IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. WE COMMITTED TO DOUBLING THE FEDERAL FROM 500 TO 1,000 A WEEK AND BRINGING IN THREE PAID SICK DAYS UNDER THE EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT. WE ARE THE FIRST PROVINCE IN THE COUNTRY TO BRING IN PAID SICK DAYS DURING COVID-19. WE WILL CONTINUE TO STAND WITH WORKERS EVERY SINGLE DAY AND ALL THE PEOPLE THE PROVINCE UNTIL WE DEFEAT COVID-19.

[SOME APPLAUSE]

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Begum says WHILE THIS GOVERNMENT TRIES TO DEFLECT AND DISTRACT THE PUBLIC AND USES ATTACK ADS REALLY AND THEN BLAMES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR USES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR THEIR EXCUSES THE FEDS WROTE BACK AND THEY ASKED THE PROVINCE WHEN THEY WANTED TO DO AND THEY HEARD NOTHING FROM THE GOVERNMENT. SO MY QUESTION IS AGAIN, MR. SPEAKER, WHEN IS THE GOVERNMENT GOING TO STOP WITH THE DESPERATE DEFLECTION AND START FOCUSSING ON MEASURES THAT WOULD ACTUALLY WORK? SOMETHING THAT EXPERTS HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR, LIKE PAID SICK DAYS PLAN AND A SYSTEM FOR WORKERS THAT HELP PEOPLE INSTEAD OF SHUTTING DOWN BUSINESSES AND THIS GOVERNMENT IS DROPPING THE BALL ON THE VULNERABLE PEOPLE OF THIS PROVINCE AND OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES ACROSS THIS PROVINCE, WHEN WILL THE GOVERNMENT STEP UP AND ACT? THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER.

The Speaker says MINISTER OF LABOUR.

McNaughton says WE ARE THE VERY FIRST PROVINCE IN CANADA TO BRING FORWARD PAID SICK DAYS DURING COVID-19. 23 PAID SICK DAYS TO HELP WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES GET THROUGH THIS PANDEMIC. MR. SPEAKER, ALL MANY MEMBERS INCLUDING THE MEMBER OPPOSITE SUPPORTED OUR LEGISLATION AND I'M PROUD TO SAY THAT WE PASSED THIS BILL IN RECORD TIME. ABOUT THREE HOURS, MR. SPEAKER. SO I THANK THE MEMBERS OF THE NDP AND THE INDEPENDENT LIBERALS FOR SUPPORTING THIS LEGISLATION, BUT, MR. SPEAKER, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS SAID TO US HOW CAN WE HELP. WE'VE GOT TWO REQUESTS. ONE DOUBLE THE FOUR WEEKS' OF PAID SICK LEAVE FROM 500 A WEEK TO 1,000 A WEEK. SECONDLY, MR. SPEAKER, SECURE OUR BORDERS, OUR AIRPORTS, STOP THE VARIANTS OF CONCERN FROM ENTERING ONTARIO. IF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WANTS TO BE A PARTNER DO TWO THINGS.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Ottawa-South.

The caption changes to "John Fraser. Liberal. Ottawa South."

Fraser is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with wavy white hair. He wears a black suit, blue shirt, and striped red tie.

He says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. THIS MORNING'S STORY IN THE "THE GLOBE and MAIL" ABOUT DEATH FROM DEHYDRATION IN ONTARIO'S LONG-TERM CARE HOMES IS DEEPLY DISTURBING TOWEL OF A US. IT'S BEEN ALMOST TEN DAYS SINCE THE COMMISSION RELEASED ITS REPORT AND THE GOVERNMENT FAILED TO COMMIT FIRMLY TO ANY OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS IN IT. IT'S CLEAR TO ALL OF US THAT IMMEDIATE AND SUSTAINED ACTION NEEDS TO HAPPEN. SO MY QUESTION IS SIMPLE, THROUGH YOU, SPEAKER, WILL THE PREMIER COMMIT TO IMPLEMENTING 85TH RECOMMENDATION OF THE LONG-TERM CARE COMMISSION'S FINAL REPORT. RETURNING THE GOVERNMENT TO TABLE A REPORT IN THE LEGISLATURE, OUTLINING THE PROGRESS THEY MADE TO IMPLEMENT THE REMAINING RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE REPORT A YEAR FROM NOW AND AGAIN IN THREE YEARS' FROM NOW. A SIMPLE ANSWER, YES OR NO.

Calandra says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. I APPRECIATE THE QUESTION AND I TAKE THE REPORT SERIOUSLY AND THAT'S WHY I EXPECT THE HONOURABLE MEMBER WOULD EXPECT US TO TAKING A LOOK AT ALL RECOMMENDATIONS, MR. SPEAKER, AND GIVE THEM THE ATTENTION THAT THEY DESERVE. WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN HELPFUL, MR. SPEAKER, IS OVER THE 15 YEARS OF THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT THAT IS FOUR SEPARATE LIBERAL ADMINISTRATIONS HAD THEY PAID ATTENTION TO LONG-TERM CARE AND HAD THEY BUILT LONG-TERM CARE AND HAD THEY REBUILT SOME OF THOSE LONG-TERM CARE HOMES DESPERATELY IN NEED OF UPGRADING AND HAD THEY WORKED ON A STAFFING STRATEGY, MR. SPEAKER, HAD THE LIBERALS DONE THAT FOR THE 15 YEARS OF PRECEDING HOURS WE WOULD NOT BE IN THE POSITION OF PLAYING DEFENCE FOR THE FULL YEAR. RIGHT KNEW WE'RE ON THE OFFENCE OF THE PROVINCE OF THE ONTARIO...

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

Calandra says WE'RE ATTACKING COVID AND GO INTO WORK PLACES. WE NEED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO SECURE OUR BORDERS TO PUT THIS BEHIND US.

The Speaker says THE SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Fraser says WELL, SPEAKER, WE SEE THIS RECOMMENDATION REPORT FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO ENACT RIGHT NOW. I DON'T KNOW WHY WE CAN'T GET A YES OR NO. IN TALKING THE PREMIER SAID, IT WAS A TRAGEDY BUT WE'RE GOING TO FIX IT. THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. ONE YEAR AGO THE PREMIER SAID THE INVESTIGATION HAD BEEN LAUNCHED INTO THE REPORT OF THE CANADIAN MILITARY. WE FOUND OUT LAST WEEK OUR INVESTIGATION WAS NEVER LAUNCHED, NOTHING TURNED OVER TO THE POLICE AND WE READ IN THE GLOBE THIS MORNING. A SPOKESPERSON FOR THE MINISTRY OF LONG-TERM CARE SAID THAT COULD BE CRIMINAL. A YEAR LATER, CURRENTLY THERE'S NO LEGISLATION FOR THIS GOVERNMENT TO ENACT RECOMMENDATION 85. THIS AFTERNOON, I'LL BE PUTTING FORWARD LEGISLATION THAT WILL REQUIRE THE GOVERNMENT TO ENACT RECOMMENDATION 85. SIMPLE QUESTION, WILL THE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT THAT LEGISLATION, YES OR NO? ANOTHER SIMPLE QUESTION.

The Speaker says GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THE FEDS SAID WE WILL DO WHAT'S RIGHT IN LONG-TERM CARE FOR THE PROVINCE UNLIKE THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT THAT HE WAS A MEMBER OF. THERE WERE FOUR PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATION IN ADVANCE OVER 15 YEARS AND THE RECORD OF THE PREVIOUS LIBERAL GOVERNMENT PUT US ON THE DEFENCE FOR MUCH OF THE FIRST PART OF THE PANDEMIC. WHETHER IT WAS ICU CAPACITY WHICH THEY DID NOTHING ABOUT. A STAFFING STRATEGY FOR THE LONG-TERM CARE HOME. WHETHER IT WAS REBUILDING LONG-TERM CARE HOMES IN NEED OF REB VACATION AND UPGRADING. EN VACATION AND UPGRADING. ON EVERY SINGLE ACCOUNT THE PREVIOUS FOUR LIBERAL GOVERNMENTS OVER 15 YEARS FAILED THE PEOPLE. PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. WE MOVED QUICKLY BEFORE THE PANDEMIC. WHETHER IT WAS A STAFFING STRATEGY, WHETHER IT WAS TO BUILD THOUSANDS OF ADDITIONAL LONG-TERM CARE BEDS. WHETHER IT WAS INCREASING ICU CAPACITY AND INCREASING FROM 500 TO 75,000 A DAY. WE ARE ON THE OFFENCE TO PUT THIS BEHIND US UNDERSTAND AND FOR ALL. CANADIANS AND ONTARIANS...

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THE NEXT question. The member for Willowdale.

Cho says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. FROM THE BEGINNING OF THIS PANDEMIC OUR GOVERNMENT HAS ALWAYS. PUT THE SAFETY OF ONTARIANS AS A NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. THAT'S WHAT WE CONTINUE TO DO. THE PEOPLE OF THIS PROVINCE CONTINUE TO DO THEIR PART. YET WE ARE UNNECESSARILY PUT AT HIGHER RISK BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF BORDER CONTROL. THE HIGHER RISK COMING INTO OUR COUNTRY AND OUR PROVINCE FROM THESE DANGEROUS VARIANTS FROM TRAVELLERS, BOTH INTERNATIONALLY AND DOMESTICALLY. WE HAVE ALL HEARD SUCCESS FROM OTHER PLACES LIKE NEW ZEALAND AND HOW THAT HE MANAGED TO HANDLE COVID-19 BY RESTRICTING TRAVEL. MY QUESTION TO THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, IT WAS VERY DISAPPOINTING TO HEAR THAT LETTERS GOT A GOOD RESPONSE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. WHAT OTHER STEPS IS OUR GOVERNMENT TAKING TO URGE OTTAWA TO FINALLY GET...

The Speaker says QUESTION. THE SOLICITOR GENERAL.

Jones says THANK YOU, THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE MEMBER FOR WILLOWDALE. I KNOW THIS IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR CONSTITUENTS AND YOUR COMMUNITY BUT IT'S FOR ALL OF ONTARIO. SINCE DECEMBER WE'VE BEEN URGING THE PRIME MINISTER TO TAKE STRONGER ACTION AT OUR BORDER. IT HAS JURISDICTION TO IMPLEMENT ON ARRIVAL 0 COVID TESTING FOR ONTARIO. WE TOOK THE UNPRECEDENTED STEP OF CLOSING THE MANITOBA AND QUEBEC BORDER AND PLAN TO END WATER WITH THE PROVINCES. AS THE MEMBER WILL KNOW, WE HAVE SPENT THREE SEPARATE LETTERS TO MINISTER BLAIR AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ASKING THEM TO TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT ONTARIO CITIZENS. UNFORTUNATELY THE RESPONSE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS SAID THEY STILL REFUSE AND WILL CONTINUE TO IGNORE...

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

Jones says TO LIMIT INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL. COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Cho says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. IT'S TRULY FRUSTRATING TO HEAR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S LACK OF ACTION TO PROTECT OUR BORDERS, SPEAKER. MY CONSTITUENTS ARE EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING ALSO, TO PARAPHRASE A CONSTITUENT FROM THE OTHER DAY. THESE VARIANTS ARE NOT SWIMMING INTO ONTARIO. WE KNOW THAT THE VARIANTS OF CONCERN ARE A DOMINANT FORM OF THE VIRUS IN OUR COUNTRY. BORDER PROTECTION IS A FEDERAL DUTY AND THEY HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT WILLOWDALE AND ALL ONTARIANS. BEING BACK TO THE MINISTER, CAN SHE PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY THE STRICT MEASURES AT OUR BORDERS ARE ESSENTIAL TO PROTECT ONTARIANS FROM THE DANGER OF VARIANTS OF CONCERN.

The Speaker says MINISTER.

Jones says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. WE'VE SEEN HOW LIMITED INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL HAS BEEN EFFECTIVELY TO SPREAD THE COVID-19 VARIANT. WE ALL KNOW THE SUCCESS OF THE MARITIME BUBBLE. IN LIMITING TRAVEL AND BY DOING SO LIMITING COVID CASES. NO ONE ARGUES, WE ALL UNDERSTAND BUT LET'S LOOK IN CANADA, IN CANADA THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ALLOWS INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL IN FOUR PROVINCES. ONTARIO, QUEBEC, ALBERTA AND BC. WE ALL KNOW THAT A LOT OF FACTORS HELP WITH THE COVID SPREAD BUT THE FACTORS IN PROVINCES THAT HAD THE HARDEST BATTLE SINCE THIS BEGAN THAN THE SAME PROVINCES HAVE THE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL. IT'S NOT AB COPIES. THOSE RESTRICTIONS ON TRAVELLING FROM HOT SPOTS LIKE INDIA MEANS IT TAKES TWO MOUSE CLICKS TO ROUTE A FLIGHT FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY AND ARRIVE AT PEARSON. THIS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO PROTECT US FROM THE VARIANTS. THANK YOU.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Niagara Falls.

The caption changes to "Wayne Gates. NDP. Niagara Falls."

Gates is in his fifties, with short black hair and a prominent moustache. He wears glasses, a black suit, and a white shirt.

He says MR. SPEAKER, MY QUESTION TO THE PREMIER, NOWHERE WAS COVID MORE DEADLY THAN THE LONG-TERM CARE HOMES WE SAW CLEARLY IN NIAGARA. DESPITE THE PREMIER'S PROMISE TO BUILD AN IRON RING AROUND LONG-TERM CARE IN THE FIRST WAVE OF COVID. MORE SENIORS DIED IN THE SECOND WAVE THAN THE FIRST. MOTHERS, FATHERS AND GRANDPARENTS AND LOVED MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY. IN NIAGARA FALLS NEARLY 100 percent. STAFF AND RESIDENTS WERE INFECTED. 40 PEOPLE DIED. THE LONG-TERM CARE COMMISSION CONFIRMED WHAT WE ALL KNEW THIS GOVERNMENT FAILED LONG-TERM CARE RESIDENTS. IN NIAGARA PEOPLE DIED AND THE GOVERNMENT REFUSED TO SEND IN THE MILITARY OR THE RED CROSS HELP THE STAFF WHICH I ASKED FOR. THE REPORT SAYS IT CLEARLY THE PREMIER HAD NO PLAN TO PROTECT SENIORS OR STAFF. SPEAKER, WILL THE PREMIER ADMIT HE FAILED LONG-TERM CARE RESIDENTS AND STAFF AND KNIT THAT NIAGARA WAS LEFT WITHOUT PROPER GOVERNMENT SUPPORT AND MOODILY IMPLEMENT THE OF COMMISSION'S RECOMMENDATION?

The Speaker says GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says AS I SAID WE'LL TAKE ALL OF THE VARIANT REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS THAT CAME THROUGH THE COMMISSION REPORT. I THINK HONOURABLE MEMBERS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE HOUSE WOULD EXPECT NOTHING... NOTHING LESS, MR. SPEAKER, BUT I SAID ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS WE CERTAINLY WERE FACED WITH SOME CHALLENGING SITUATIONS WHEN WE INHERITED GOVERNMENT AFTER FOUR PREVIOUS LIBERAL ADMINISTRATIONS WHICH HAD NOT DONE THE WORK NEEDED TO INVEST IN OUR LONG-TERM CARE HOMES. WHETHER IT WAS A STAFFING STRATEGY, WE KNEW STAFF WAS LEAVING BUT DIDN'T KNOW WHY. PAY OR OTHER ISSUES? OUR WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS IN DISREPAIR AND THEY MADE NO PRODUCING ON HELPING WITH THAT. THERE WAS WEIGHTLESS, MULTIYEAR WAIT LISTS AT MANY HOMES BECAUSE THE LIBERALS DID NOT INVEST IN MANY HOMES, SPEAKER, WE TOOK ACTION IN ADVANCE, MR. SPEAKER, WE KNEW THAT MORE HAD TO BE DONE IN LONG-TERM CARE. THAT'S WHY WE MADE INVESTMENTS TO UPGRADE OUR LONG-TERM CARE HOMES TO BUILD THOUSANDS OF NEW HOMES, MR. SPEAKER, WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS ON THE FILE AND MEMBERS WOULD EXPECT NOTHING ELSE.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Gates says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. WE SAW HOW MUCH MORE DEAD I THE SECOND WAVE OF COVID WAS IN NIAGARA DESPITE THE GOVERNMENT PROMISE TO PROTECT SEASONS AND STAFF IN LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES. LONG-TERM CARE COMMISSION REPORTS SHOWED THAT 26 SENIORS DIED OF NEGLECT AND DESPERATELY NEEDING WATER AND A WIPE DOWN. THINK OF THAT. HE THEY DIED BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T GET WATER, WATER. THE PREMIER PROMISED AN INVESTIGATION IN THE STEPS AND NOW HE SAYS HE WON'T LAUNCH ONE. LIKE THE IRON RING HE PROMISED, HIS INVESTIGATION WAS AMISS. HE WOULDN'T COMMIT TO IMPLEMENTING THE REPRESENTATION AND THE REPORT EITHER. ENOUGH OF BLAMING OTHERS. THOUSANDS OF SENIORS HAVE DIED UNDER THIS GOVERNMENT'S WATCH. THIS PREMIER AND HIS GOVERNMENT FAILED THE RESIDENTS OF ONTARIO. SPEAKER, WAS THE PREMIER FULLY AND IMMEDIATELY RECOMMEND ALL THE COMMISSIONER'S REPORT. WILL HE ENSURE THAT HOMES ARE PROPERLY STAFFED AND NO OTHER SENIOR DIES IN THE RICHEST PROVINCE IN CANADA BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T GET WATER?

The Speaker says GOVERNMENT HOUSE LEADER.

Calandra says I THINK THE ALMOST AGREE THAT SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE. HE'S ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. THAT THIS PROVINCE WAS LEFT A CHALLENGING SITUATION AFTER FOUR PREVIOUS LIBERAL ADMINISTRATIONS AND THE LACK OF INVESTMENT THAT WE SAW IN THEM, SPEAKER. THAT'S WHY THE GOVERNMENT HAS COMMITTED TO FOUR HOURS OF CARE. IT'S A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR INVESTMENT, SPEAKER. I SUSPECT INDIVIDUALS DON'T CARE HOW MUCH IT COST BUT WANT TO ENSURE THAT IT GETS DONE. THAT'S WHY WE'RE GOING TO BE HIRING 27,000 ADDITIONAL PSWS. WE HEARD FROM THE PSWS IN ADVANCE THAT THEY WANTED AN ORGANIZATION TO COVER AND TO ALLOW THEM TO ADVOCATE FOR THEMSELVES. BEFORE THE HOUSE RIGHT NOW, SPEAKER. WE ARE BUILDING THOUSANDS OF NEW HOMES ACROSS THE PROVINCE. WE INCREASED INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL MEASURES.

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

Calandra says ANOTHER SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE AND BREAKTHROUGH IN HOW WE RESPOND IN KEEPING HOMES SAFE. WORK HAD TO BE DONE OVER THE LAST 15 YEARS BUT WE'RE GETTING IT DONE.

The caption changes to "Honourable Ted Arnott. Speaker."

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Don Valley West.

The caption changes to "Kathleen O. Wynne. Liberal. Don Valley West."

Wynne is in her fifties, with short curly blond hair. She wears a gray blazer over a gray dress.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER. ONE OF THE IMPACTS OF THE 40 EVERY DAY PANDEMIC... COVID PANDEMIC IS THAT WOMEN ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED. WOMEN WORKING WITH THE ELDERLY AND HOLDING THE FRONTLINES IN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS AND CARING FOR CHILDREN AND HOME SCHOOLING HAS CARRIED A DOUBLE LOW. THOUSANDS OF WOMEN LEFT THE LABOUR FORCE IN ORDER TO MANAGE THE DEMANDS OF THEIR FAMILIES. THIS IS THE REALITY AND THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN BROUGHT ON BY COVID HAS BEEN CALLED THE SHE SESSION BY SOME ECONOMISTS. IT'S THE REASON THAT IF WE WERE SUCCESSFULLY TO RECOVER AS A SOCIETY WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE THAT WE MUST FOSTER A SHE-COVERY. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO MAKE SURE THAT WOMEN CAN RE-ENTER THE WORK FORCE WHEN THEY'RE READY AND TO HAVE SOMEONE LOOK AFTER THEIR CHILDREN. SPEAKER, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OFFERED TO INVEST IN CHILD CARE ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO ENHANCE AND BUILD ON THE SERVICES AVAILABLE IN PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES. WILL THE PREMIER WORK WITH THE FOGG ENSURE THAT EVERY FAMILY IN ONTARIO WHO NEEDS AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE WILL FIND IT IN PAIR THAT COMMUNITY?... IT IN THEIR COMMUNITY?

The Speaker says TO REPLY, THE ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF CHILDREN AND WOMEN'S ISSUES.

The caption changes to "Honourable Jill Dunlop. PC. Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues."

Dunlop is in her forties, with long straight blond hair. She wears a white blazer over a red dress.

She says THANK YOU, SPEAKER AND THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION. IT IS OBVIOUSLY ONE THAT WE HOLD NEAR TO OUR HEART AS WELL. ONTARIO IS COMMITTED TO BUILDING AN AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE SYSTEM THAT IS ACCESSIBLE AND RESPONSIVE TO NEEDS OF FAMILIES AND I CAN TELL YOU FROM EVERY ROUND TABLE THAT I HEARD I ALWAYS HEARD FROM WOMEN ABOUT THE ISSUES AND BARRIERS THAT WOMEN FACE. WE HOPE THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL STEP UP FUNDING TO ADVANCE AFFORDABILITY AND THEY NEED A FLEXIBLE SYSTEM THAT RESPONDS TO HOW THEY RAISE THEIR CHILDREN. A ONE SIZE APPROACH DOES NOT FIT ALL. WE LOOK FORWARD TO REVIEWING THE DETAILS AND OUR GOVERNMENT IS PROVIDING DIRECT RELIEF TO FAMILIES TO OFFSET OF COSTS INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE PANDEMIC AND PAYMENTS TO PARENTS THROUGH THE ONTARIO COVID CHILD BENEFIT...

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

Dunlop says TO HELP WORKING ARE PARENTS AND STUDENTS 0 TO GRADE 12 WITH DIRECT FINANCIAL SUPPORT DURING THIS PANDEMIC.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Wynne says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. I APPRECIATE THE MPP'S ANSWER. MR. SPEAKER, BETWEEN 2008 AND 2018 OUR GOVERNMENT BUILT 2,000 CHILD CARE SPACES AND THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN LICENSED CHILD CARE DOUBLED IN THAT PERIOD. ONTARIO PUT FORWARD A PLAN TO PARTNER WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO BUILD ON THAT AND GIVE LICENSED AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE ACROSS ONTARIO. IT CAN BE FLEXIBLE THROUGHOUT MINISTER'S SITE IT CAN BE HOME DAVID BASED AND WITH THE SUPPORT OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IT CAN BE FOR EVERY FAMILY. WE WE WE SAW AN DISAPPLY DURINE LAST ELECTRONICS THAT WE KNEW ANYTHING NOTHING ABOUT HOW CHILD CARE OPERATED IN ONTARIO BUT THE SNEAD TO ADJUST THE ISSUE IS MORE ACUTE THAN IT'S BEEN. COVID DEMANDS AND WE RECOGNIZE THE LABOUR AND WILL NOT RECOVER WITHOUT A COMMITMENT TO CHILD CARE. WE ASKED ABOUT ABOUT AN IDEOLOGICAL OPPOSITION AND TO DEVELOP A PLACARD TO WORK WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE THAT CHILD CARE IS AVAILABLE TO EVERY FAMILY WHO WANTS IT AND NEEDS IT IN ONTARIO. SPEED SKATE MINISTER OF EDUCATION.

The caption changes to "Honourable Stephen Lecce. PC. Minister of Education."

Lecce is in his thirties, with short dark hair and a stubble. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and striped blue tie.

He says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SPEAKER. THANK YOU MEMBER OPPOSITE FOR THE QUESTION. JUST BUILDING OFF MY COLLEAGUE AND WE'LL WORK WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. WE ASPIRE TO MAKE CHILD CARE ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE FOR THE WORKING PARENTS IN THE PROVINCE. HOWEVER, WE REFLECT AND LOOK BACK IN IT MUST BE NOTED, SPEAKER, THAT THE ONTARIO HAD THE SECOND HIGHEST EXPENSIVE CHILD CARE IN THE NATION. IT'S NOT A PROGRAM THAT WE SEEK TO EMULATE. WE SUPPORT PATIENTS WITH A CHILD CARE TAX CREDIT, UP TO 20 percent, A ONETIME SUPPORT GIVING THE CHALLENGES, ESPECIALLY WOMEN GIVEN THEIR RE-ENTRY OF THE LABOUR MARKET BAHAMAS OF THE DISRUPTING PANDEMIC. WE INCREASED SUPPORT IN THE CHILD CARE SYSTEM. THERE'S OVER 2 BILLION DOLLARS EXPAND PENNEDDED EVERY YEAR WITH THE PLAN TO BUILD SPACES WITHIN THE SCHOOLS. LAST YEAR 16,000 SPACES WERE CREATED. WE KNOW THAT THERE'S MORE TOO. IT'S IN OUR BUDGET AND WE'LL CONTINUE IN COLLABORATION WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO WORK WITH THEM AND MAKE CHILD CARE MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR ONTARIANS.

The Speaker says NEXT question. The member for Willowdale.

Cho says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. WE KNOW THAT STRICTER BORDER MEASURES STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19. THAT'S A FACT. IT'S BACKED UP BY SCIENCE AND DATA AND OUR RESPECTED ALLIES HAVE IMPLEMENTED THEM WITH GREAT SUCCESS WHILE. OUR GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO URGENTLY REQUEST ACTION SO SECURE OUR BORDERS BASED ON THE SOLICITOR GENERAL'S PREVIOUS TWO ANSWERS IT'S CLEARLY NOT A PRIORITY FOR THE PRIME MINISTER. WHAT'S MORE DISAPPOINTING, WHAT IT'S ASTONISHING, SPEAKER, TO SEE THAT THE LIBERAL PARTY AND HIS PARTY ARE MORE INTERESTED IN DEFENDING THEIR FEDERAL COUSINS THAN TAKING THE TIME TO STAND UP FOR ONTARIANS. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE SOLICITOR GENERAL. CAN THE MINISTER TELL THIS HOUSE THAT MR. DEL DUCA'S CLAIM IS SCENE PHOBIC OR AN ATTACK ON ONTARIANS... XENOPHOBIC.

Jones says THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I APPRECIATE THE INTEREST AND THE BACK AND FORTH BECAUSE THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR ALL OF US TO APPRECIATE. AND UNDERSTAND. WE KNOW FROM STATISTICS THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF AIR TRAVELLERS TO ONTARIO ARE DOMESTICKIC TRAFFIC LIGHTS DURING MARCH OF 2021, THE HARDITH HIT MONTH IN ONTARIO MORE THAN 21,000 TRAVELLERS PASS THROUGH THE AUTO AIRPORT ALONE WHICH WE KNOW ONLY ACCEPTS DOMESTIC TRAVELS. TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA IT'S THE EQUIVALENT OF THE CITY OF BROCKVILLE PASSING THROUGH THE AIRPORT IN A MONTH. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY WERE REQUIRED TO GET TESTED, ZERO, NONE. IT'S SHAMEFUL THAT A MEMBER WOULD MAKE THIS ABOUT RACE. DESPITE HE COULD STAND UP FOR ONTARIANS.

Cho says THANK YOU, I APPRECIATE THE RESPONSE BECAUSE IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE. THE LIBERALS WERE HECKLED DURING THIS IMPORTANT RESPONSE. ONTARIO APPS KNOW THAT AFTER OVER A YEAR OF THE PANDEMIC THERE SHOULD BE SOME SAFEGUARD PUT IN PLACE. WHY WON'T MR. DEL DUCA JOIN US IN ASKING HIS FEDERAL COUSIN TO PROTECT THE BORDERS HERE IN ONTARIO. IT DOES IT'S A SIMPLE REQUEST. OF BACK TO THE MINISTER. IS THERE A REASON TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT TRAVELLERS EVEN FROM WITHIN OUR COUNTRY?

Jones says THAT WOULD BE A YES, MR. SPEAKER. ONTARIANS ARE FRUSTRATED AND ARE DOING THEIR PART IN FOLLOWING PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISE. INSTEAD OF THEIR FEDERAL COUSINS REFUSE TO ACT EVEN AFTER THREE OFFICIAL REQUESTS FOR ACTION. PREMIER FORD REPEATEDLY ASKED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO STEP UP AND DO THE RIGHT THING. WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT OUR BORDERS ARE SECURE. DID YOU KNOW THAT A CITY THE SIZE OF KITCHENER PASSED THROUGHOUT PEARSON AIRPORT ALONE AND NOT TAKING A FEST. MR. DEL DUCA THINKS THAT MOST TRAVELLERS SHOULDN'T BE TESTED OR WILL HE AND THE MEMBERS JOIN US IN CALLING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT PCR TESTING FOR ALL AIR TRAVELLERS OR WILL THEY CONTINUE TO SPEND THEIR TIME STANDING FOR THEIR FEDERAL COUSINS INSTEAD OF DOING WHAT'S RIGHT FOR THE PEOPLE OF ONTARIO.

The Speaker says THE NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER for Sudbury.

The caption changes to "Jamie West. NDP. Sudbury."

West is in his forties, clean-shaven and balding. He wears a blue suit and shirt, and a matching plaid tie.

He says THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS FOR THE PREMIER. ON FRIDAY, APRIL 30TH, THE MINISTER OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES RELEASED A STATEMENT, THE GOVERNMENT'S PRIORITY IS THAT A NORTHERN AND BILINGUAL MIDWIFERY PROGRAM. I'VE GOT A LOT OF TRAFFIC FROM THE NEWS AND THE SOCIAL MEDIA AND MANIED LETTERS WERE SENT TO MY OFFICE TO SAY THAT THE MIDWIFERY PROGRAM WAS SAVED AND THEN A MINUTE ENTRY SPOKESPERSON SAID THAT THE PROVINCE IS NOT PRESERVING LAURENTIAN'S PROGRAM BUT WOULD MAKE EFFORTS. THEY PROVIDED ZERO INFORMATION HOW OFTEN THAT THAT WOULD HAPPEN. THAT WAS A CRUEL JOKE TO PLAY ON NORTHERN ONTARIO. WILL THE PREMIER COMMIT TODAY TO ENSURING THAT THE TRICULTURAL BILINGUAL MIDWIFERY PROGRAM IN NORTHERN ONTARIO IS...

[INAUDIBLE]

The Speaker says MEMBER, PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT.

The caption changes to "David Piccini. PC. Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Colleges and Universities."

Piccini is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair. He wears a gray suit, white shirt, and yellow tie.

He says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. AND SPEAKER, YES, WE REMAIN COMMITTED TO THE PROGRAMS IN THE NORTH AND THAT WHY THE PREMIER SAID, WE WORKED WITH IMPACT AS SOON AS THE 10 percent FOR THE PROCEEDING TO ENSURE PATHWAYS TO GRADUATION WORKED CLOSELY WITH INSTITUTIONS TO ENSURE THAT MIDWIFERY PROGRAM REMAINS IN THE NORTH AND BILINGUAL REMAINS IN THE NORTH FOR STUDENTS TO GRADUATE AND PRACTICE THEIR PRACTICE WITHIN THE NORTH AND WILL CONTINUE. THANK YOU.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

West says BACK TO THE PREMIER, FOR NEARLY TWO DECADES LAURENTIAN UNIVERSITY'S DEPARTMENT GRADUATED 15RATION THERAPISTS EVERY YEAR. THESE ARE THE STUDENTS THAT GO ON TO OPERATE THE MACHINES USED IN RADIATION THERAPY FOR CANCER PATIENTS. BECAUSE THE PREMIER FAILED TO PROTECT THE LAURENTIAN FROM THE CCAA PROCESS THE MEDICAL PHYSICISTS LOST THEIR JOBS. THE SCHOOL WAS AT THEIR FOUR-YEAR PROGRAM TO TRAIN IN NORTHERN ONTARIO NO LONGER EXIST. THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH HAS DEFERRED QUESTIONS TO THE MINISTER OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. THEN THE MINISTRY OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES REPORTED BACK TO THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH. SPEAKER, THE MIDWIFERY AND RADIATION THERAPY FOR CANCER SOCIETY PATIENTS ARE... PATIENTS FOR NORTHERN ONTARIO. WILL THE MINISTRY SAVE THIS PROGRAM IN NORTHERN ONTARIO?

Piccini says THANK YOU, SPEAKER, OUR GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN CLEAR FROM DAY ONE, OUR UNIVERSITIES, COLLEGES AND OUR UNIVERSITIES ARE AUTONOMOUS INSTITUTIONS GOVERNED BY THEIR BORED OF DIRECTORS. BORED OF DIRECTORS. WHEN ASKED TO GO BEFORE THE PROCEEDINGS WE RESPECT THAT AND THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE PROCESS . WE'VE ENSURED THAT STUDENTS HAVE A PATHWAY TO GRADUATION, MR. SPEAKER, WE ENSURED THAT WE HAD MIDWIFERY PROGRAMMING IN THE NORTH THANKS TO ADDITIONAL INVESTMENTS FROM THE GOVERNMENT. WE EXPAND THE FRENCH PROGRAMMING IN THE NORTH THANKS TO THE INVESTMENT FROM THIS GOVERNMENT. WHAT'S REALLY DEEPLY CONCERNING FROM THE MEMBER OPPOSITE HE WANTS POLITICIANS TO INTERFERE IN WHAT AUTONOMOUS UNIVERSITY COURSES THEY OFFER. HE WANTS POSITIONS TO INTERFERE IN COURT PROCEEDINGS, MR. SPEAKER, AND IT'S CHILLING. THAT'S WHY THAT PARTY OPPOSITE HAS HAD ONE OPPORTUNITY TO GOVERN. IF HE WANTS TO INTERVIEW FOR THE MINISTER...

The Speaker says RESPONSE.

Piccini says THIS GOVERNMENT WILL RESPECT THE PROCEEDINGS AND WE'LL SUPPORT STUDENTS IN THE NORTH. THANK YOU, SPEAKER.

The Speaker says THE NEXT question. The member for Orléans.

The caption changes to "Stephen Blais. Liberal. Orléans."

Blais is in his early forties, with short brown hair. He wears glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and checkered blue tie.

He says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THE PREMIER OF HIS PARTY HAVE LAUNCHED ATTACKS AGAINST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAT ARE XENOPHOBIC AND OUTRAGEOUS. THEY'RE CLAIM THAT GO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILURE AT THE BORDER THAT IS THE CAUSE OF ALL OF OUR COVID-19 PROBLEMS. PREMIER WANTS TO SEE FEWER PEOPLE ENTER ONTARIO BUT WON'T TELL US WHO.

The Speaker says I NEED TO BE ABLE TO HEAR THE QUESTION. THE MEMBER HAS THE FLOOR.

Blais says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. THE PREMIER WANTS FEWER PEOPLE ENTER ONTARIO BUT WON'T TELL US WHO. DOES HE WANT TO STOP TRUCK DRIVERS FROM DELIVERING ESSENTIAL GOODS. DOES HE WANT TO STOP DOCTORS AND NURSES FROM CROSSING THE BORDER TO WORK AT HOSPITALS AND DOES HE WANT TO STOP THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS FROM OUR PUBLICLY FUNDED UNIVERSITIES. TODAY THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT RESTRICTIONS ON DOMESTIC TRAVEL AND CLOSED THE BORDER BETWEEN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC. PROGRAMS THE MINISTER CAN TELL US HOW MANY PEOPLE TRAVELLED FROM GATINEAU AND INTO OTTAWA THIS MORNING.

The Speaker says SOLICITOR GENERAL.

Jones says I'M SHOCKED. I CAN'T BELIEVE THE MEMBER OPPOSITE HAS NOT BEEN LISTENING TO THE BACK AND FORTH ABOUT WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING AND WHAT WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO. TO BE CLEAR, WE WANT TO STOP THE VARIANTS OF CONCERN COMING INTO ONTARIO. THAT IS WHAT IS GOING TO PROTECT US. THAT'S WHAT'S GOING TO GIVE US THE TIME TO VACATE ENOUGH PEOPLE TO PROTECT OUR CITIZENS. IF THE MEMBER UNDERSTOOD THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF POSITIVE CASES RIGHT NOW ARE ACTUALLY VARIANTS FROM SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE OF ONTARIO PERHAPS HE COULD WORK WITH US AND OUR FEDERAL PARTNERS TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND CLOSE THE BORDERS. THE LAND AND WATER LOOPHOLE SOLVED. THAT WOULD BE PRODUCTIVE USE OF YOUR TIME.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Blais says THE MINISTER DOESN'T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE TRAVELLED FROM GATINEAU TO OTTAWA THIS MORNING DESPITE THE FACT THAT THERE'S AN INTERPROVINCIAL RESTRICTION. THE PROVINCE IS ON LOCKDOWN, THOUSANDS OF NEW COVID-19 CASES EVERY DAY. OVER 800 ONTARIANS IN CRITICAL CARE. SCHOOLS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION REMAIN CLOSED AND THE LACK OF CENTRALIZED BOOKINGS HAS LED TO A SCRAMBLE TO FIND AND BE RECEIVE VACCINATIONS. BUT INSTEAD OF FOCUSSING ON SOLVING THESE ISSUES, MR. SPEAKER, INSTEAD OF SPENDING THEIR TIME GETTING VACCINES INTO ARMS, ADVERTISING ABOUT VACCINE HESITANCY...

The Speaker says ORDER!

Blais says THE GOVERNMENT IS FOCUSSING THEIR ATTENTION ON BLAMING OTHERS. THEY'RE NOT ADVERTISING ABOUT STOPPING THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. THEY'RE NOT ADVERTISING TO COMBAT VACCINE HESITANCY. THEY'RE NOTTIZING ABOUT THE WAYS IN WHICH THEY'RE HELPING ONTARIANS. THEY'RE ADVERTISING AND FUNDRAISING WITH THE ALL TOO FAMILIAR REFROM BLAMING OTHERS. THOSE PEOPLE FROM OVER THERE, SPEAKER, THOSE PEOPLE FEWER WERE COMING IN ALL THE PROBLEMS WOULD BE SOLVED. SO, MR. SPEAKER, WHEN WILL THE GOVERNMENT PUT FOCUS ON HELPING ONTARIANS AND STOP TRYING TO ANIMATE THEIR BASE WITH DOG WHISTLE POLITICS?

The Speaker says I WILL ASK THE MEMBER TO WITHDRAW.

Blais says I WITHDRAW.

The Speaker says Minister TO REPLY.

Jones says SO FIRST OF ALL, I'M GOING TO REINFORCE THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF VARIANTS OF COVID-19 ARE IN FACT THE VARIANTS OF CONCERN WHICH BY EXTENSION MEANS THAT THOSE VARIANTS CAME FROM OTHER COUNTRIES. RIGHT NOW THAT HAPPENS TO BE A VARIANT THAT STARTED IN THE UK. BUT WE ALL KNOW AND ARE WATCHING WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH OUR BC AND ALBERTA COUNTERS WHERE THEY ARE SEEING VARIANTS COMING FROM OTHER COUNTRIES. WE NEED TO STOP THAT. WE CAN DO ALL THE VACCINATIONS THAT WE CAN BASED ON THE SUPPLY. WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT. WE'VE EXPANDED THE PHARMACY MODEL AND THE PRIVATE CARE MODEL. WE HAVE 34 PUBLIC HEALTH UNITS DOING EXCELLENT WORK ACROSS ONTARIO MAKING SURE THAT TO DATE OVER 6 MILLION PEOPLE ALMOST HALF OF THE PROVINCE HAVE RECEIVED THE VACCINE. SO WHILE THAT ROLLOUT WILL CONTINUE AND WE'RE VERY PROUD OF THE WORK THAT THEY ARE DOING. WE ALSO NEED TO FOCUS ON MAKING SURE THAT NO MORE VARIANTS COME INTO ONTARIO, THANK YOU, SPEAKER.

The Speaker says NEXT QUESTION. THE MEMBER FOR York South-Weston.

The caption changes to "Faisal Hassan. NDP. York South-Weston."

Hassan is in his early forties, clean-shaven and bald. He wears a blue suit, shirt and tie.

He says GOOD MORNING, SPEAKER. MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER, THE THIRD WAVE HAS BEEN DEVASTATING TO MARGINALIZED POPULATION AND THOSE AT HIGH RISK. WE NEED TO MAKE A PRIORITY FOR VACCINATIONS AND SO FAR, WE HAVE FEW MOBILE POP-UPS AND MORE HOSTILITY ON OCCASIONS. NOW THIS WEEK OUR CITIZENS ARE FORCED TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE COMMUNITY FOR ANY HOPE OF GETTING THEIR VACCINES. OUR RESIDENTS ARE LOOKING FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE THE HEALTH CARE THEY NEED RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW IN THE COMMUNITY. THIS IS THE BASIC DAYS OF PART-TIME OFF TO GET THEIR VACCINATIONS THEY ARE WAITING FOR. WHEN IS THIS GOVERNMENT GOING TO ACT WITH URGENCY WHEN IT COMES STONG COVID TRADITION IN OUR... STOPPING COVID TRADITION IN OUR COMMUNITY.

The Speaker says THE MINISTER OF LABOUR, TRAINING AND SKILLED DEVELOPMENT.

McNaughton says I THANK THE MEMBER VERY MUCH AND THANK THE MEMBER FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET UP TAN YOU CAN ABOUT THE WORK WE'RE DOING FOR THE WORKERS IN THE PROVINCE AND WE ARE THE VERY FIRST PROVINCE IN CANADA SINCE COVID-19 HIT THAT COUNTRY TO BRING IN A COMPREHENSIVE 23 DAYS OF PAID SICK DAYS FOR WORKERS, A COMBINATION OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S PROGRAM AND OURS. MR. SPEAKER, I'M EXTREMELY PROUD OF OUR WORKER INCOME PROTECTION BENEFIT. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE A SICK NOTE FROM DOCTORS AND ENSURES THAT WORKERS STAY HOME IF THEY'RE FEELING UNWELL AND GETTING A COVID TEST AND WAITING FOR A RESULT. IT GIVES THE WORKER A CHANCE TO GET VACCINATED. IF THE WORKER HAS TO STAY HOME AND RECOVER FROM A VACCINATION. BUT, MR. SPEAKER, WE GO FURTHER. IF THERE'S WORKERS OUT THERE BEING IMPACTED BY COVID-19... SORRY, BY MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES RELATED TO COVID-19. TO STAY HOME AND BE PAID FOR THAT. IF YOU'RE A MOM OR A DAD THAT STAYS HOME BECAUSURE CHILD AS A COVID SYMPTOM, STAY HOME AND GET PAID.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY.

Hassan says AGAIN, MY QUESTION FOR THE PREMIER. HOW ARE HOT SPOTS THAT ARE HOME TO SO MANY SUCTION WORKERS NOT BE TREATED AS AN AFTERTHOUGHT BY THIS OF THE GOVERNMENT. I'VE BEEN APPROACHED BY BUSINESSES WOULD WOULD LIKE TO GET THEIR ESSENTIAL WORKERS VACCINATED AT THEIR WORKPLACE BUT CANNOT COVER THE COST OF ARRANGING THAT. WHY IS THIS GOVERNMENT NOT MAKING IT EASIER FOR WORK PLACES TO VACCINATE THEIR EMPLOYEES ON THE SPOT AND WHY IS THIS GOVERNMENT NOT WORKING WITH THESE ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES HELPING TO VACCINATE WORKERS AND MITIGATE COVID TRANSMISSION, MR. SPEAKER.

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THE SOLICITOR GENERAL.

Jones says SPEAKER, I'M ACTUALLY REALLY GLAD THAT THE MEMBER OPPOSITE RAISED THIS BECAUSE IT'S VERY EXCITING. ONE OF THE OTHER PATHWAYS FOR INDIVIDUALS TO GET VACCINATED IS MOBILE MINI-VACCINATION SITES THAT ARE MOVING INTO SOME OF THE AREAS AND SMALLER BUSINESSES THAT DO NOT HAVE THE FACILITY OR THE BAND WIDTH TO PUT ON THEIR OWN VACCINATION CLINICS. SO IN FACT WE HAVE RAMPED UP WITH THE HELP OF RED CROSS AND TO HAVE TEAMS GO OUT AND GO TO THE SMALLER BUSINESS AND I HOPE THAT THE MEMBER OPPOSITE WOULD SHARE THE NAMES OF THOSE BUSINESSES WITH US SO WE CAN REACH OUT, CONNECT AND MAKE SURE THAT THAT IS AVAILABLE TO THEM AND THEIR EMPLOYEES.

The Speaker says THANK YOU. THE NEXT question. The member for Cambridge.

The caption changes to "Belinda Karahalios. NB. Cambridge."

Karahalios is in her thirties, with long curly brown hair. She wears a black blazer over a blue blouse.

She says MY QUESTION FOR THE PREMIER. RECENTLY THE PREMIER STATED THAT HE BELIEVES THAT IF THE BORDERS WERE SAFE EVERYTHING WOULD BE FINE RIGHT NOW. BACK IN MARCH LAST YEAR WHEN THERE WERE LESS THAN 200 CASES OF COVID IN ONTARIO THE PREMIER ENCOURAGED FAMILIES TO TRAVEL FOR MARCH BREAK AND STATED HE WANTED THE BORDERS TO REMAIN OPEN. IF IT'S TRUE THAT THE BORDER MEASURES MIGHT HAVE STOPPED THE SPREAD OF COVID IT'S LOGICAL THAT IT WOULD HAVE HELPED WAY BACK WHEN THERE WERE ONLY A FEW CASES OF COVID IN ONTARIO AND NONE OF THE VARIANTS HAD ARRIVED. SO THEN WHY WOULD THE PREMIER NOT CALL FOR THESE MEASURES 14 MONTHS AGO WHEN THINGS COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED.

The Speaker says ORDER. THE RESPONSE. SOLICITOR GENERAL.

Jones says THE MEMBER OPPOSITE RAISES AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF INFORMATION AND THAT IS THE MORE THAT WE LEARN ABOUT COVID-19 HOW IT SPREADS AND WHY IT SPREADS, WHERE IT'S SPREADING FROM THE MORE WE CAN PROTECT PEOPLE AND IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL AS WE UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT COVID-19 THAT WE CONTINUE TO LEARN, THAT WE CONTINUE TO PIVOT AND WE CONTINUE TO PUT MORE ADDITIONAL ENFORCEMENT IN. I WOULD REMIND THE MEMBER THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY PREMIER FORD AND OUR GOVERNMENT WHO STARTED TESTING INTERNATIONAL VISITORS IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, WE ALL REMEMBER THAT LONG-TERM CARE IN BARRIE THAT WAS DEVASTATED BECAUSE ONE PERSON WHO WAS CARRYING THE VARIANT FROM THE UK INFECTED AND THEN DEVASTATED A LONG-TERM CARE HOME. WHEN WE LEARN THAT WE HAVE TO REACT QUICKLY TO ENSURE THAT OTHERS ARE PROTECTED. THAT'S WHAT WE'VE DONE BY ASKING FOR ADDITIONAL BORDER RESTRICTIONS AND IMPOSING MORE BORDER RESTRICTIONS ON MANITOBA AND QUEBEC.

The Speaker says SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION.

Karahalios says SPEAKERS THE PREMIER HAD 14 MONTHS TO ASK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DO SOMETHING ON BORDER CONTROL BUT THE PREMIER BLEW IT. HE WAS TOO BUSY PRAISING INSTEAD. THE PREMIER SAID HE YOU WONDER WHY I'M PRAISING HIM, BECAUSE THE PRIME MINISTER DID AN EXCEPTIONAL JOB. THEN HE CALLED CHRYSTIA FREELAND AMAZING AND CALLED THE PREMIER HER THERAPIST. IF THE PREMIER HAS SUCH A GLOWING FRIENDSHIP WITH PRIME MINISTER TRUDEAU WHY DIDN'T HE TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TASK FOR THE BORDER MEASURES HE WANTED 14 MONTHS AGO BACK WHEN NO VARIANTS HAD ARRIVED IN CANADA AND COVID CASES WERE BY COMPARISON. THAT'S WHEN IT WOULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE.

The Speaker says THE RESPONSE.

Jones says THE SOLICITOR GENERAL. SO WHEN COVID-19 CAME IN LAST YEAR IT CAME IN FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY.

The Speaker says ORDER.

Jones says THE VARIANTS CAME IN FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY. WE LOOK AT WHAT THE MARITIME BUBBLE DID. IT WAS A VERY SUCCESSFUL MODEL. THEY PROTECTED THEIR BORDERS. WE'VE DONE THAT. WE PROACTIVELY WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WASN'T TESTING INTERNATIONAL VISITORS, WE STEPPED UP AND DID THAT. TO THEIR CREDIT, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AFTER A NUMBER OF WEEKS DID ACTUALLY TAKE OVER PCR TESTING OF INTERNATIONAL VISITORS. ALL WE WERE ASKING FOR IS THAT WE DO THE SAME FOR THE DOMESTIC VISITORS BECAUSE WE HAD THE ESSENTIAL WORKERS COMING INTO ONTARIO AND CITIZENS RETURNING TO ONTARIO AND ALL WE WANT TO DO IS PROTECT THEM TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DON'T HAVE MORE SPREAD AND A FOURTH WAVE. THANK YOU.

The Speaker says NEXT question. The member for BRAMPTON-NORTH.

THE CAPTION CHANGES TO "KEVIN YARDE. NDP. BRAMPTON NORTH."

YARDE IS IN HIS FORTIES, CLEAN-SHAVEN, WITH SHORT-CROPPED DARK HAIR. HE WEARS a maroon SUIT, WHITE SHIRT, AND checkered TIE.

He says MY QUESTION IS TO THE PREMIER, SPEAKER LAST WEEK I WROTE A LETTER TO THE MINISTER OF FINANCE HIGHLIGHTING SOME CONCERNS ON THE STATE OF OUR AUTO INSURANCE SYSTEM IN ONTARIO AND IN BRAMPTON NORTH. I WROTE HOW IN ONTARIO WE PAID SOME OF THE HIGHEST AUTO INSURANCE RATES IN THE BE COUNTRY... IN THE COUNTRY. TWICE AS MUCH AS OUR NEIGHBOURS IN QUEBEC PAY ON AVERAGE. THE CONSTITUENTS OF BRAMPTON NORTH PAY THE HIGHEST AUTO PREMIUMS IN THE PROVINCE WITH AN AVERAGE OF 3,301 dollars PER YEAR. MORE THAN TWICE THE PROVINCIAL AVERAGE OF 1,116 dollars. WE KNOW THERE'S BEEN FEWER DRIVERS AND ACCIDENTS ON ROAD DURING THIS PANDEMIC. INSURANCE ACCOUNTS RAKED IN PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES YOU ABOUT THE DRIVERS OF ONTARIO HAVE NOT SEEN ANY MEANINGFUL REBATES. THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION RECOMMENDED, WILL THIS GOVERNMENT IMPLEMENT A 50 percent DECREASE IN AUTO INSURANCE PAYMENTS DURING THIS PANDEMIC AND ALLOW PAYMENT DEFERRALS FOR THOSE WHO LOST THEIR JOBS IN THESE TIMES OF ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY.

The Speaker says THE MEMBER FOR WILLOWDALE.

The caption changes to "Stan Cho. PC. Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance."

Cho says THANK YOU, SPEAKER. I APPRECIATE THE MEMBER FOR BRAMPTON NORTH RAISING THIS IMPORTANT ISSUES. THE MEMBER WILL UNDERSTAND FROM A FOUNDATIONAL BRIEFING PROVIDED TO HIM THROUGH THE MINUTE INDUSTRY OF FINANCE WE HAVE AN AUTO INSURANCE THAT'S ORIOLE COMPLICATED AND CREATED BY THE NDP, SPEAKER. WE HAVE TO TACKLE THIS PROBLEM IN A FUNDAMENTAL WAY. GOING AFTER THE ROOT PROBLEM. INCREASING THE COMPETITION AND GETTING RID OF THE CONFLICT IN THE SYSTEM. AND ATTRACTING NEW ENTRANTS INTO THE MARKET BY ALLOWING FOR THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY SUCH AS USER BASED INSURANCE AND TRAVELLERS INSURANCE...

The Speaker says ORDER.

Cho says FOR THE GREAT DRIVERS OF BRAMPTON. OUR MESSAGE TO THE RATEPAYERS ACROSS OF THE PROVINCE IS CLEAR, THE NDP CREATED THIS MESS, we're gonna fix it.

Watch: Question Period: Monday, May 10, 2021