The decision to keep schools closed for the rest of the year was a difficult, but necessary decision, according to Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott.

She says the provincial government wants to err on the side of caution, noting that there are only three weeks left in the school year. Scott says the government is also worried about the Delta variant that first emerged in India. Public Health Ontario reports over 320 cases of Delta have been found in the province. Scott says the government is worried about it considering how quickly it’s known to spread once it’s in a community.

Scott acknowledges how difficult the past year has been for parents and students but, for now, she says online learning is the safest way forward.

With just about 60-percent of Ontarians having now received their first COVID-19 jab, pressure is being put on the Premier to move up the start date of phase one of the government’s three-stage reopening plan. Scott urges patience saying she’s working as hard as she can to advocate for that to happen to the province’s top doctors. “We want to have that soda pop on the patio,” she says.

Scott’s hope is that the province is able to start gradually reopening before June 14th. She says she’s seeing a positive trend with the case count locally and provincially. “It was only a few weeks ago that our numbers were in the thousands and our hospitals were jammed,” she says. As of Thursday, the province has reported under 1,000 new daily cases four days in a row. Scott says that she and her colleagues have been pushing health officials to notice that positive trend.

While the province is moving in a positive direction, Scott says it’s vital we remain cautious, adding the government wants to get things open as quickly as possible, but that could all be undone quickly. She points to Manitoba as an example where cases and hospital visits have been on the rise in recent weeks as a reminder of how quickly things can change.