Premier Doug Ford touts Tory record in fighting COVID-19 in throne speech

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Premier Doug Ford is marking the unofficial start of the June 2 provincial election campaign with a throne speech, marking the Progressive Conservative government’s record of combating COVID-19.

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“Ontario can’t go back. After 18 months fighting this pandemic, we are grateful for the stability and certainty of our businesses,” said the speech, titled “Protecting Ontario’s Progress,” which the legislature said. was read in by Lieutenant-Gov. Elizabeth Dowswell.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, a limited number of MPPs were allowed for addresses in the Chamber.

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The speech reiterated the Tories’ promise to invest $2.68 billion over the next decade to build 30,000 new long-term care home beds and another $5 billion over the next four years to employ 27,000 nurses and personal support staff in nursing homes.

“Ontario is making good progress against this ambitious target,” the speech said, with 20,000 new beds and 15,000 upgraded beds already “in development.”

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“By April … Ontario will make significant progress by adding 16,200 more individual support workers to the health care system, including the province’s long-term care sector.”

Some 9,700 Ontarios have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic hit in March 2020.

The throne speech, which was the first since the Tories came to power in June 2018, marked the start of the fall legislative session.

This comes after Ford prorogued the legislature last month.

At 6 a.m. on Monday, Speaker of the legislature Ted Arnott ordered that anyone entering the building must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a “recent” rapid antigen test “to protect us all” Will happen.

In which the Prime Minister, ministers, opposition leaders, MPPs, political workers and journalists were involved.

About 119 of Ontario’s 124 MPPs are thought to have been vaccinated. Ford fired veteran MPP Rick Nichols (Chatham-Kent-Leimingen) on August 19 for refusing to take his shots from the PC caucus.

Tory MPP Christina Mitas (Scarborough-Center) was granted medical remission for an undisclosed condition.

MPP Lindsay Park (Durham) was removed from her role as parliamentary assistant to Attorney General Doug Downey because she “misrepresented her vaccination status” to her colleagues.

That downgrad would cost him $16,600 per year in reduced pay — a 12 percent pay cut.

“Ms. However, the park provided evidence of medical exemption. We subsequently verified the vaccination status of caucus members, and as such, our caucuses are fully vaccinated, except for two members who received medical exemption The leader of the House of Government, Paul Calandra, said.

Robert Benzie Starr is Queens Park’s bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie
Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter who covers Ontario politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @RobFerguson1
Kristin Rushovi is a Toronto-based reporter who covers Ontario politics for Granthshala. Follow him on Twitter: @krushowy
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