Ontario going back into strict lockdown effective December 26
TORONTO, December 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Premier Doug Ford announced Monday that Ontario will be locked down effective 12:01 a.m., Saturday, December 26.
The measures will be in effect for two weeks in northern Ontario, and four in southern Ontario, which includes Toronto and Peel regions, already designated since November 23 as grey or “lockdown” zones.
The lockdown was originally set to begin on Christmas Eve, but Ford’s cabinet decided Monday to push it back to Boxing Day, according to CTV News.
Under the new measures, religious services, rites or ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, are limited to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 10 outdoors. Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies are permitted, “subject to certain conditions,” according to a Ford government press release.
Toronto’s Cardinal Thomas Collins cancelled public Masses November 23 when Toronto was declared a lockdown zone, but churches remain open for private prayer.
The measures ban indoor public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household. “Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive close contact with one other household,” the press release stated.
Publicly funded elementary and secondary schools in the province will close until at least January 11, at which point schools in northern Ontario will be allowed to open their classrooms.
Elementary schools in southern Ontario will also open for in-person learning on January 11, but secondary schools in those regions won’t open classrooms until January 25.
Child-care centers will remain open, the government release stated.
In-person shopping in most retail settings is banned, with only curbside pickup and delivery allowed.
“Discount and big box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping,” the press release said.
Indoor access to shopping malls is also restricted, with shoppers allowed to go to a designated indoor area by appointment only, or to an outdoor pickup area.
Indoor and outdoor dining is banned, and bars and restaurants may remain open only for takeout, drive-through and delivery.
Ford said in the December 21 press conference that extreme lockdown is necessary because of rising cases of COVID-19,
“This difficult action is without a doubt necessary to save lives and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed in the coming weeks,” he said.
“Make no mistake, thousands of lives are at stake right now. If we fail to take action now, the consequences could be catastrophic.”
However, a number of critics oppose lockdowns as doing far more harm than good.
Notably, 39,224 medical professionals have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, which argued that lockdowns are creating “lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health.” At last count, the Great Barrington Declaration has been signed by 13,012 medical and public health scientists, 39,224 medical practitioners, and 706,363 concerned citizens.
They advocated that governments “allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.”
That was echoed later in October by four Ontario women physicians who wrote in an op-ed in the Toronto Sun that government policies intended to mitigate the dangerous effects of this virus are actually “causing irreparable harm, including more deaths, to our children.”
In November, the American Institute for Economy Research (AIER) released a report compiled from evidence from various studies which concluded that lockdowns inflicted damage across a spectrum of quality-of-life issues, including mental health, the economy, unemployment, crime, and education.
This reiterated a Heritage Foundation July study of 10 different nations that concluded draconian lockdowns are less effective at combating COVID-19 than strategies more narrowly targeted at those most in danger.
Public pushback against lockdowns also appears on the rise, and in Ontario, Independent MPP Randy Hillier, a vocal opponent of the Ford government’s coronavirus response, has spearheaded the No More Lockdowns movement.
Hillier organized and spoke at an anti-lockdown rally at Queen’s Park in November that was attended by about 700 people. (He was charged with breaching the Reopening Ontario Act and if convicted, faces a fine of up to $100,000 and a year in jail.)
He told the crowd that lockdowns are unjustified violations of individual liberty, cause more harm than good, and are devastating small businesses, and alleged that the Ford government “lied to us” and that the province is “on a dishonest path, and it’s taking us to a really, really bad place.”
According to the Ford government press release, “the latest modelling data” predict that COVID-19 “cases across the province are continuing to grow and the number of people requiring an intensive care bed is projected to rise well above 300 people within the next 10 days.”
It stated that hospitalizations for COVID-19 “have increased by 74 per cent over the last four weeks and are more than 15 times higher than they were at the beginning of September.”
Additionally, the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (ICU) “has more than doubled over the last four weeks and is 20 times higher than at the beginning of September,” and currently, there are “915 COVID-19 patients requiring acute care, 265 patients in ICU, with 152 on a ventilator,” the press release stated.
However, as is well known, the treatment of Covid-19 is also a hotly contested and politicized issue, with America’s Frontline Doctors, as well as Canadian Dr. Kulvinder Gill, founder of Concerned Ontario Doctors, facing media and Big Tech censorship and professional censure to promote hydroxychloroquine as a safe and effective treatment for the novel coronavirus.
More recently, Wisconsin physician Dr. Pierre Kory, founding member of Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), told a United States senate committee that Ivermectin, a Nobel Prize–winning anti-parasitic agent, “basically obliterates transmission of this virus.”
FLCCC has developed a treatment regimen incorporating ivermectin, which the group claims has led to up to 83% lower-than-average COVID-19 death rates in hospitals that have applied it.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has refused emergency authorization of ivermectin to treat the novel coronavirus, stating for months that “[m]ore testing is needed.”
Premier Doug Ford
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Email: [email protected]
Website contact form: https://correspondence.premier.gov.on.ca/EN/feedback/default.aspx
Ontario MPP Contact information page: