Ontario Premier Doug Ford is back to the same old lockdown antics and it’s once again children who suffer the most. Upwards of 5.7 million children across Canada have been impacted by school closures since the onset of lockdowns in March 2020, and we have a plan to send the government a message that this child abuse needs to stop.
Parents and educators have had enough.
I’m standing in solidarity with them to stand up against the school closures, restrictions and mandates that harm our children.
The Ford government's unscientific and harmful (see the evidence-based research here, here, here, and here, just to name a few) school closures have shown in real-time to cause more harm than good. It’s not March 2020 and there is ample data to fuel good policy.
I thought vaccines were the ticket out of the pandemic?
Yet, we have the majority of eligible adults in Ontario doubly, some even triple, vaccinated and all of the places that required the discriminatory — now obviously ineffective when we look at the current data — vaccine passports are also shut down.
Can we trust this same government, which has been the leader of broken promises, that it’ll be just another few weeks of sweeping school closures? How many times are we going to allow ourselves to be lied to before we say enough is enough?
I’ve spoken to dozens of parents, educators and students, one of whom was Betty, a high school teacher for 16-years in Ontario. As a vocal advocate against school closures, she recently joined Greg Brady on AM640's Toronto Today show to discuss her stance.
We wonder if this closure will be a ricochet effect into other provinces. With Ontario having over two million students in kindergarten to Grade 12, it has almost three times as many students enrolled in school than any other province.
That’s why we’ve created this campaign to get kids Back To Class.
On that special page, you can sign a petition to get kids back to class. I want to drive this initiative home even more by utilizing what’s called One Click Politics, a way for you to share your location and send a form letter directed specifically to your own minister of education and premier.
So, while school shut downs are currently specific to Ontario, this will let us easily pivot to include other provinces and jurisdictions as well.
And I’m sure no one would be mad if you took that same form letter to send to your local teachers unions and/or school board trustee. The unions have been powerful advocates for this nonsense, and the board trustee is often overlooked, but nevertheless an important official because they are elected and supposed to be accountable.
What about the experts that Premier Ford claims to be trusting, like the Ontario Science Table (OST)? They know school closures cause far-reaching harm, as evidenced in a report published by the group in June 2021 titled “COVID-19 and Education Disruption in Ontario: Emerging Evidence on Impacts”.
(Side note: I’m not particularly fond of the OST, but when pro-lockdowners are saying there is a problem, you know that there is a problem.)
On page 10 they reference a large-scale study that showed students subjected to absenteeism and “virtual” learning were three-to-nine percentage points behind those in the same category pre-COVID.
Other key findings reiterate the harms: “families, educators, and children themselves find that that students learn better in person than online”; school closures have “increased absenteeism… affected students’ educational transitions which will affect their later outcomes… evidence of decreased kindergarten enrollment and reduced access to developmental services…. The consequences and “impacts on children’s well-being, their physical and mental health will have both immediate and future economic costs.”
A report published by the Royal Society of Canada found that Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children has seen a 120 per cent increase in emergency department visits for mental health concerns.
Since January 2021, the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario reported an unprecedented number of young patients admitted to hospital in “the throes of severe mental health crisis that left them suicidal.”
According to Children's Healthcare Canada, children's hospitals are experiencing double the number of admissions following attempted suicides, a threefold increase in admissions related to substance abuse and 60 per cent increase in the number of admissions related to eating disorders.
And data published by the World Health Organization concluded “in-person learning was not associated with increased prevalence or incidence of COVID-19 infection compared to the general community.”
All of this data informs me that it is perfectly safe for children to be in schools among their peers.
The Ontario government had two years to increase hospital capacity, but instead they cut ICU beds.
Looking at this graph, on May 1, 2020 we had 3,330 beds. Now, on January 4, 2021 there are now only 2,340 beds. Nearly 1,000 less beds in the middle of an alleged global pandemic with hospital capacity used as a determinant to lock all of society down.
Kids need to be in the classroom and their educations want to teach them. Sign our petition at BackToClass.ca, and add your name to the list of people voicing that our kids have paid enough for the mistakes of well-paid politicians and bureaucrats.
And use that special feature where you can simply click and send a form letter to your provincial minister of education and your premier and say this abuse of our kids and the damage to their futures has to stop now.
The future of our children, our grandchildren and this country depends on it. If we don’t do something now, the collateral damage, the destruction of the wellbeing of our children, could have a lasting impact, long after the endemic COVID virus has fizzled out.