Ford tells tale about a kid named Arthur to explain his reopening decisions

Jun 2 2021, 12:15 pm

During Wednesday’s news conference, Ontario Premier Doug Ford told a story about a child named Arthur, whom he apparently met with to discuss the school reopening plan.

Just as Ford’s school announcement was supposed to wrap up, he paused the question-and-answer section to recount a tale about a French-language student who wrote him a letter and dropped it off at his house.

Ford apparently “hopped” in his truck and drove a few blocks to Arthur’s house for a visit, where the premier arrived unannounced and went into the family’s backyard, where they were having dinner.

There, the premier told Arthur his worries about sending kids back to class and driving up COVID-19 infections.

“If there was a choice, would you want to go back to class or go to camp?” Ford asked Arthur.

The child replied that he’d rather go back to class. But after some discussion, Arthur suggested to the premier that schools have outdoor graduation ceremonies in June before summer camps and other activities begin.

“He was a tough negotiator,” Ford said. “He’s going to be premier one day.”

On Wednesday, Ford announced schools will remain closed until September to avoid further spread of COVID-19. He added that schools can work with local health units to conduct outdoor graduation ceremonies.

But several journalists, health experts, and others listening to the call questioned both the story’s authenticity and Ford’s judgement for listening to a child instead of policy experts — and for visiting the boy during a Stay-at-Home order.

Oh, and if Arthur or his family is reading this: several journalists want to speak with you.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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