Windsor-Essex among 10 regions to stay in Stage 2
WINDSOR, ONT. -- As most of the province moves into Stage 3 of Ontario’s recovery plan, Windsor-Essex, along with nine other regions is excluded from moving forward.
As of Friday, most of Ontario will see dine-in restaurants, cinemas, casinos, and gyms reopen save for the same 10 health units that were held back in June when it came to moving into Stage 2.
“These regions entered Stage 2 later on, so we need just a little more time,” Premier Doug Ford said at the announcement Monday.
In addition to Windsor-Essex, Toronto, York, Peel, Durham, Haldimand-Norfolk, Halton, Hamilton, Lambton and Niagara will be staying in the second phase for now.
“It is four weeks of data, several weeks have already happened,” Ontario health minister Christine Elliot said.
Based on that, it will be July 22 before Windsor and the five county municipalities can expect to go to Stage 3. It could be into August before Leamington and Kingsville are able to proceed.
“I want these regions to know we won’t leave anyone behind,” Ford said.
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said in a statement that remaining in Stage 3 is not surprising.
"Given that our community only recently entered Stage 2, and our neighbours in Leamington and Kingsville continue to cope with the pandemic’s continued impact within the farm worker community, it was certainly expected that our region would be held back."
But he added that without an overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Workers program from senior levels of government, and improvements to living conditions for migrant workers, moving forward will be a challenge.
"As Mayor of Windsor, I’m concerned that until we get further attention and support from both the Provincial and Federal Governments to deal with the unfolding crisis among the farm worker populations, our region will be unable to proceed to Stage 3 and take full advantage of the economic benefits associated with the next phase of re-opening."
The new Stage 3 limits will also allow gatherings of up to 100 people outdoors and 50 indoors.
Amusement parks, buffets, nightclubs, private karaoke rooms, contact sports and table games at casinos will continue to be off-limits.
With most businesses permitted to reopen, the province will be allowing child centres to operate with 15 children starting July 27.
Elliot said the province is expected to stay in Stage 3 “for the foreseeable future.”
- With files from CTV Windsor's Michelle Maluske