OSSTF/FEESO MEDIA RELEASE: Lecce’s announcement today – just more empty words

MEDIA RELEASE (original attached)

For Immediate Release: Monday, February 1, 2021

Lecce’s announcement today – just more empty words

Today’s announcement and press conference by the Ontario Government leave the province with a false sense of security about the safe reopening of certain schools. When are enhanced safety measures going to actually be implemented? It’s time for action, not empty platitudes and opaque decision-making.

Once again, we have no metrics and no clarity on the benchmarks Lecce is using to trigger the reopening of schools. His plan is unclear and families and parents continue to sit in limbo, waiting to know when, if, and how students will be kept safe in face-to-face learning.

The government continually deflects responsibility to local Public Health Units without giving them sufficient direction, resources, and funding. Communities need leadership, not the Minister’s gut feelings. It is irresponsible to plan a pandemic response that is based only on responding to the daily situation.

The government today again promised increased testing, ventilation improvements, and increased staffing to ensure small class sizes are kept, while failing to mention that the funds at issue are federal and not provided by the Ford government. We have heard these promises for months but have seen little action.

By sitting on funds and not implementing a full-scale approach to protecting students, families, workers, and communities, the government continues to tie the hands of local boards of education. This government is just not ready. Announcements without follow-through are not a plan but a false promise.