The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford revealed Monday he recently had two of his daughters visit him, in apparent contradiction of official provincial advice.
Asked Monday if the concept of two-household “bubbles” would come to Ontario soon, as it has to other provinces beginning to reopen, Ford said two of his daughters who don’t live with him had already visited. Two other daughters live in the home.
“There was six of us – direct family. None of the husbands, boyfriends, no one came, just themselves, and I think if we can keep it to as small as possible gatherings that would be very helpful,” Ford said.
“From the chief medical officer right now he still wants to keep it immediate family. I have two girls living with me, two not living with me, so I had two more there. When it comes to seniors and our parents, use your best judgment.”
The province’s own novel coronavirus website, however, advises no contact outside someone’s home.
“Everyone in Ontario should practise physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people – this means staying at least two metres away from anyone outside your household,” it states.
When asked if the advice had changed, a spokeswoman for Ford said they expect Ontarians to “use their best judgment when interacting with individuals from outside their household.”
Chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams said his advice had not changed.
“We have not yet opened that proviso up yet and how that might work,” he said. “We’re asking people to do their part to maintain the physical distancing at this stage.”
Williams was hesitant to comment on Ford’s situation, saying he didn’t know if physical distancing had been practised during the visit.
Ford’s spokeswoman didn’t directly answer a question about that.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said mixed messages lead to confusion and create uncertainty for people wondering what they should or shouldn’t be doing.
“The health experts are still advising staying two metres (away) and maintain contact only with your immediate household,” Horwath said.
“The premier made his own choices on the weekend. I had a lovely Mother’s Day with my son at home.”
This isn’t the first time the premier has faced criticism for his own actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. He acknowledged last week that he visited his cottage on Easter Sunday, days after urging Ontarians to stay home.
Ford said he drove up in his pickup truck by himself early in the morning to briefly check on plumbing concerns he had at the property.
The trip came days after Ford said at a news conference that he wouldn’t be travelling to his cottage that weekend and advised other seasonal residents to stay home.