Ontario's Education Minister expected to make announcement on March break

Feb 11 2021, 6:21 am

Education Minister Stephen Lecce is expected to make an announcement on March break on Thursday afternoon.

Lecce will be joined by Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.

Last week, Lecce said an announcement would be coming this week on whether to cancel or keep the March break.

“We’ve sought the medical advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. My hope is by next week to have that final expert opinion. My decision is going to be based exclusively on public health imperatives,” he said on February 4.

Recently, Ontario teacher unions have been releasing statements on the importance of keeping March break for the mental well-being of students, staff, and families.

On Tuesday, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association said it supports having a March break and that the decision should be made by public health experts.

“These decisions must be made with the goal of minimizing the risk of exacerbating the pandemic; however, it is essential to also consider the impacts to student and staff mental health and well-being,” the statement said.

The Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (OSSTF) and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) also want March break to go ahead and said if the problem is that people might travel during that time, then the government must address people travelling, not schools.

The press briefing will take place at 2 pm.