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Opposition and teachers’ unions want to ignore documents on opening schools

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Throughout the pandemic, opposition politicians have said Doug Ford should listen to doctors.

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Yet when it comes to reopening Ontario schools next week, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca are pushing the idea that it is just not safe to send the children back to class.

This is not the point of view of Dr. Kieran Moore, chief medical officer of the province. This is not the view of the Ontario Science Table, local doctors, SickKids Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, McMaster Children’s Hospital or London Children’s Hospital.

Yet apparently we should listen to elected politicians with no medical training rather than the long list of medical experts claiming school is safe for children.

“Everyone wants to see kids in school, absolutely, we definitely do, but we want to make sure these schools are safe,” Horwath said.

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She was responding to the government’s announcement about the return of classes on January 17 and discussed what she didn’t know rather than what she did. It was a move designed to raise doubts about school safety while not offering solutions beyond the same old talking points of tired pre-COVID unions – higher wages, smaller classes.

Del Duca isn’t much better, painting a picture of unsafe schools because parents can’t go online for immediate updates on HEPA filters in their child’s classroom. I’d rather the government focus on having filters in classrooms – over 73,000 deployed to date – than creating and updating a website so frantic parents can check on the status of the classroom. filter in their children’s classroom. This is a ridiculous idea.

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It’s not about public health or student safety, it’s about politics disguised as public health.

It’s the same with complaints from teachers’ unions who also spend time stirring up fear. The Toronto bargaining unit of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation had an emergency meeting scheduled for Thursday evening.

“The purpose of this meeting will be to provide any updates we may have on the reopening of the school as well as to review the work refusal process,” the email explosion said. He also promised to discuss how the union would target 11 Toronto-area PC MPs for loss in the next election.

Teachers ‘unions, like their political party allies, have spent an enormous amount of time stoking parents’ fears and making them believe schools are not safe, now they will prove it by not showing up for work. They have also asked for special access to booster shots and yet the special clinics the province has set up for teachers are operating at about a third of their capacity.

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So don’t teachers want to boost them or don’t they need special access?

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Despite fear fueled by the NDP, Liberal and teacher union schools have proven to be safe throughout the pandemic.

“Strong public health measures, along with comprehensive responses from local public health units, have been extremely effective in helping schools operate as safely as possible,” Dr Moore said Wednesday.

Children rarely experienced serious consequences throughout the pandemic and that has not changed with the new variant. Over the past two weeks with Omicron, the 5 to 19 age group has seen 26,604 out of 181,055 cases, or 14.7% of cases, but only 39 of 1,827 hospitalizations, or 2% of the total.

Omicron, like other variants of COVID-19, continues to affect older populations and the immunocompromised, not young and healthy.

Nothing will eliminate all risks, but the same goes for getting children to walk to school, take the bus, take swimming or dance lessons, or play hockey. If we treated all activities the way we treat COVID, children would never leave their homes.

It’s time for more balance and less fear. It is time for the kids to go back to school and for the adults to stop playing politics.

blilley@postmedia.com

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