Ontario Premier Doug Ford emotionally apologized to residents of the Canadian province Thursday after his government had to roll back its strict lockdown orders and enhanced police powers after they were met with furious backlash.
“Last Friday, in response to extremely troubling modeling that told us we could see well over 15,000 cases a day, we moved fast to put measures in place to reduce mobility, but we moved too fast,” Ford said during a virtual press conference that lasted more than 25 minutes. “And I know that some of those measures, especially around enforcement, they went too far.”
“Simply put, we got it wrong,” continued Ford, who broadcast from isolation after having been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. “We made a mistake. These decisions, they left a lot of people very concerned. In fact, they left a lot of people angry and upset. I know we got it wrong. I know we made a mistake. And for that, I’m sorry and I sincerely apologize.”
Ford later went on to choke up remembering stories he had heard of Ontarians who, because of COVID-19 restrictions in hospitals, were unable to hold the hands of loved ones as they died.
Claiming he was deferring to the experts around him, Ford said, “I’m sorry we acted too quick on the measures. All I hear is, ‘limit mobility, limit mobility,’ and we moved too quick. But anytime, if I make a mistake, I correct it immediately, which we did on the weekend.”
“And again, the reason I’m here and I’m apologizing [is] because we moved too quick, with having people being pulled over, per se, you call it carding, but I want to tell the people of Ontario, I’ve never, ever directed the police. I never have, I never will.”
Ford and his cabinet were faced with swift public outcry after they clamped down even on playgrounds and granted police the power to stop Ontarians at random, ask why they were not at home, and demand their address. Even members of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table denounced the measures.
“[T]he decisions came amid panic over the latest modelling for the pandemic and fears that Ford’s approval among voters would suffer badly if he was not seen to be taking action,” according to various sources close to the government who spoke to CBC News.
As Yahoo News reported regarding Ontario’s controversial restrictions:
Effective Saturday, April 17, 2021:
Outdoor gatherings are limited to your immediate household only, but people who live alone can still join with one other household. All non-essential construction project are also being halted.
The province is restricting all outdoor recreational amenities, including golf courses, basketball courts, soccer fields and playgrounds, on the same date.
Capacity in big-box retailers is being reduce further to 25 per cent capacity.
Effective Monday, April 19, 2021:
Capacity at places of worship, weddings and funerals will be capped to maximum of 10 people indoors or outdoors, but drive-in services are permitted.
Check points will be introduced at all interprovincial borders, limiting access to border crossing between Ontario, and Manitoba and Quebec, with exceptions for work, medical care, transposition of goods or exercising Indigenous treaty rights.
Ford had earlier acknowledged openly that Ontario had “implemented the strictest measures in all of North America.”
Lincoln Jay travelled to Gravenhurst, Ontario to investigate the incident involving the 12-year-old boy who was shoved off his scooter by an Ontario Provincial Police officer who was enforcing COVID restrictions.
— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) April 22, 2021
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