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COVID-19: Ottawa reports 31 new cases; any new pandemic measures would be localized and targeted, says throne speech

Posted: October 5, 2021

(October 4, 2021)

By: Taylor Blewett, Ottawa Citizen

The ultimate goal, according to the throne speech delivered in the legislative chamber Monday, is “avoiding future lockdowns.”

File photo/ Proof of vaccination required to enter a restaurant.

File photo/ Proof of vaccination required to enter a restaurant. PHOTO BY MARIO TAMA /Getty Images

Ontario MPPs are back at Queen’s Park, the province is heading into a winter when COVID-19 case counts may rise, and the ultimate goal, according to the throne speech delivered in the legislative chamber Monday, is “avoiding future lockdowns.”

A new provincial parliamentary session began Monday, after the governing Progressive Conservatives decided last month to prorogue the legislature until the federal election had concluded, allowing them to plan their fall legislation based on the results.

Monday’s speech from the throne, which lays out government goals as the new session begins, was largely pandemic-focused.

“If additional public health measures are needed, they will be localized and targeted,” the speech pledged. “At the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, they will seek to minimize disruptions to businesses and families.”

The speech also said the government will introduce legislation this fall to protect long-term care residents “through better accountability, enforcement and transparency,” warning that “the days when bad actors could get away with anything less than quality care for our most vulnerable will be over.”

The Ontario Health Coalition, meanwhile, had organized a series of protests across the province Monday to coincide with the return of the legislature, demanding action to better care for those living in LTC homes.

As for the fiscal challenges facing the province as the pandemic’s two-year anniversary approaches, the throne speech said the government “remains steadfast in its commitment to an economic and fiscal recovery that is fuelled by economic growth, not painful tax hikes or spending cuts,” outlining intentions to build road and transit infrastructure, and “build an economy that makes Ontario the best place in the world to do business, work and raise a family – no matter where you live in the province.”

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