Premier Doug Ford said that he needs “hardcore evidence” before closing down restaurants in Toronto, as the province is currently in the second COVID-19 wave.
On Monday, Ford said he makes his decisions based on evidence provided to him and when he has the request from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, to shut down restaurants he has to, “sit back and rely on evidence.”
“When I look at the Command Table that is made of a lot of bright doctors and public health officials… I can’t see the evidence,” the premier said.
He said in order to get more data, the Ministry of Labour needs to conduct more inspections of restaurants, to which the province will not hesitate to close the “bad actors” but that the vast majority of businesses are following the rules.
“These are people that have put their life in these small restaurants, everything they’ve had. I have to make sure 100%, and we’ve proven before we’ll do it, but I have to see the evidence before I take someones livelihood from them and shut their lives. That’s a huge decision that ways on my shoulders and it’s tough,” Ford added.
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The premier noted that already they have put in additional guidelines, by limiting numbers to six to a table instead of 10, and collecting contact info from everyone in the party. The province has also reduced the hours of when alcohol can be sold and has closed strip clubs.
“I want to exhaust every single avenue before I ruin someone’s life. It’s so easy to go in and shut down everything. Show me the evidence, the hard, concrete evidence,” Ford said.
“There’s thousands of small mom and pop shops, I’m not talking the big conglomerates. They’re your neighbours, your friends, your family members… that weighs on you. I have to have a balance before I destroy someone’s life.”
While he said he will close a restaurant not complying with the rules in “10 seconds” he needs “hardcore evidence” to be put in from the Command Table to make the decision.