TORONTO, ON., June 25, 2020 — During his daily media briefing at Queen’s Park on Thursday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that he doesn’t want the Canada – U.S. border to open when the current closure set by the federal government expires on July 21.
“This isn’t over. I can’t stress it enough. We’re doing great because everyone listened,” Ford said.
“So we have to stay focused and we can’t let our guard down for a heartbeat. We let our guard down and look what happened to Florida, look what happened to California and Arizona and Texas. That’s what happens when you’re reckless, you’re careless and you let your guard down.”
Florida reported almost 9,000 cases of COVID-19 today and was forced to close down its bars. Texas has also closed its bars today after seeing a big surge in cases including close to 6,000 more yesterday. Arizona and California are also seeing its COVID-19 cases skyrocket. Meanwhile, the United States health departments reported 39,327 new infections yesterday, surpassing the previous record set on Wednesday.
“But man, this thing comes back, that’s what concerns me,” said Ford.
For that reason, Ford said that he doesn’t support reopening the border with the United States for non-essential travel just yet.
“I know it’s inevitable, we’ve got to do it, I just don’t think we’re ready right now,” he said.
While Ontario no day has seen an increase over 700, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams says some of the states with roughly the same population as Ontario are reporting more than 1,500 new daily cases.
The province has lost billions due to a lack of international tourists visiting the province according to a Tourism, Culture and Heritage report by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario. The reports explains that “until the COVID-19 outbreak is resolved such that international travel is able to significantly resume, the loss in annual spending by international tourists will reach $11.4 billion.”
The report also says that from February to May, employment in tourism-connected sectors fell by 26 per cent and in the culture and heritage sector by 20 per cent.