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Ontario Premier Doug Ford is telling school boards to stick to the province’s decision to drop mandatory masks because “they aren’t medical experts.”

Several school boards have said they’d like to keep mask requirements beyond the province’s end date of March 21, even for just two more weeks.

Some of the boards have voted to seek permission from the government to extend mandates in their schools, but the premier and education minister made it clear today that those requests will be denied.

Speaking at an unrelated event in Barrie, Ont., Ford said the chief medical officer of health is the expert, and he expects school boards to follow his direction, “plain and simple.”

A statement today from Education Minister Stephen Lecce also suggests those extension requests won’t be entertained, saying school boards are expected to implement what he called a cautious plan.

Many boards have said that masks will continue to be “strongly encouraged” after March 21.

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