Mississauga and Brampton face curfews, travel ban as Ford plans next COVID move

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Published April 15, 2021 at 11:13 pm

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Curfews, essential workplace closures, and a ban on region hopping are all scenarios Mississauga and Brampton residents now face as Ontario politicians and health officials huddle to come up with a plan to combat COVID-19.

“All options are on the table,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones told reporters today, repeating a government theme trotted out each time the number of COVID cases begin to rise. This time decision makers appear to be serious.

While many, including Jones, say a curfew will be difficult to enforce, some believe it is something Premier Doug Ford must consider if he is serious about implementing “all options” to stop the spread of the virus.

As records for new COVID cases are increasingly being broken on a daily basis, Ontario health officials are not pulling any punches when they predict the situation is spiralling out of control and that 18,000 new cases a day is a possibility as early as next month.

During a press conference today, Ontario Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said any potential measures would have to be used in conjunction with the current stay-at-home order if positive outcomes are to be achieved. But, she warned, in spite of all current restrictions, the scenario faced by the province is one that will get worse before it gets better.

“It is bad, it is very bad and we need to make it better but it could have been worse,” she said referring to what may have happened if the stay-at-home order wasn’t in place. 

The options under consideration by Ford and his cabinet are not new but are becoming the few that remain as governments of all levels try to avoid a complete closure of our society.

Curfews were introduced in Quebec last week but subsequent rioting has made politicians across the country squeamish about taking similar action.

A ban on region hopping — where residents of highly infected areas go to shop and play in places that have low COVID cases — has also been a popular target, but like curfews, would be difficult to enforce.

The one area that could be easily implemented would be the closure of large warehouses such as the ones operated by Amazon, Canadian Tire, Walmart and other logistic centres as most people believe they are the main sources of community spread. The idea to close these businesses has been gaining steam with Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown currently leading the charge to shut them down.

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