Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Ontario Premier Doug Ford during a press conference at Queen's Park in Toronto on June 2, 2021. Ontario has had the longest interruption to in-person classes in Canada.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Ontario’s back-to-school plan will be announced early next week, Premier Doug Ford announced Wednesday.

Mr. Ford shared the news during a visit to Thunder Bay, Ont., where he met with local leaders to discuss the continuing wildfires that have forced thousands from their homes.

“It’s a very comprehensive plan and we’re making sure that we increase the protocols to make sure the two million kids that are going back to school are going to be safe, as well as the teachers, changing everything from HEPA filters to making sure they have proper ventilation in the schools,” Mr. Ford said.

Story continues below advertisement

Ontario regions push to boost COVID-19 youth vaccination rate before start of school year

What are governments doing to make schools safe? Not much

“We’re going to make sure they’re back in school at the beginning of September.”

Improved air quality was one of the recommendations of the province’s advisory group of science experts, who also called for schools to remain open in all but the most catastrophic scenarios.

Ontario has had the longest interruption to in-person classes in Canada.

The province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has said that he wants a conservative, safe opening of schools and that the plan has a significant amount of prevention factored in. Dr. Kieran Moore has said he is concerned about a rise in cases in the fall owing to a surging Delta variant.

The science experts recommended reinstating extracurricular activities, and loosening rules on masking, distancing, cohorting, screening and exclusion when the risk is low – which does not yet describe Ontario’s situation, they say.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario released an open letter to Mr. Ford on Wednesday, urging him to include improved ventilation, mandatory indoor masking, smaller class sizes, mandatory vaccination of teachers and permanent employment status for 625 public-health nurse positions in Ontario schools.

“RNAO is concerned about the lack of action on ventilation: an essential measure to keep people safe who are indoors,” the association said in its letter.

Story continues below advertisement

“Our concern is the lack of political will and sense of urgency to implement investments in school infrastructure that are necessary and costly, take time, and have traditionally not been seen as a priority.”

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies