Premier Doug Ford is receiving backlash for attending the 100th birthday of a former Mississauga mayor over the weekend.
On Sunday, Ford went to see Hazel McCallion for her 100th birthday celebration — she is the fifth mayor of Mississauga.
The premier posted a photo of himself and McCallion doing an elbow greeting, which is an old photo from August.
“Wishing my very good friend Hazel McCallion a very happy 100th birthday today! Hazel, you are a true leader & a real force to reckon with. Thank you for all the support & guidance you’ve given me. All of Ontario is wishing you a Happy 100th Birthday!” he said.
Wishing my very good friend Hazel McCallion a very happy 100th birthday today! Hazel you are a true leader & a real force to reckon with. Thank you for all the support & guidance you’ve given me. All of Ontario is wishing you a Happy 100th Birthday! pic.twitter.com/ZG7booocoz
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) February 14, 2021
But the post got plenty of online backlash, with one person responding, “Like breaking the rules WE have to follow! How is this OK??!?!”
Another said, “There you go again. This time putting a 100-year-old senior at risk. Does your base really love this stuff? Am I seeing you break the Stay at Home order? Make them feel like they can see their friends and family in close contact and just put a mask on and all is good?”
With someone else adding, “Hey Ford, you are under a Stay at Home order! You should stay home. Don’t go to Mississauga to say happy birthday. Stay home and do it virtually. Be a leader and set the example you want others to follow!”
The next day, Ford posted a message on Family Day emphasizing the importance of staying home.
“This Family Day, the most important thing you can do for your family is to celebrate with ONLY those you live with. Thank you so much for staying home Ontario. It’s working.”
This #FamilyDay, the most important thing you can do for your family is to celebrate with ONLY those you live with.
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) February 15, 2021
The Premier’s office said, “to be clear, the Premier quickly dropped off flowers for a personal friend on her 100th birthday. He was outside the entire time and was masked.”
On February 16, 27 regions in Ontario moved into the “revised and strengthened” COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open.
The following week on February 22, Toronto, Peel, and York regions will also have the Stay at Home orders lifted. It’s unclear which colour-coded zone they’ll be entering.