Ottawa’s top provincial politician said the forced closure of non-essential businesses in the city could be reviewed after two weeks.
Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod said on Twitter that the province would “reassess the lockdown in two weeks for communities like Ottawa.”
Her remarks came a day after local businesses and the mayor expressed frustrations that Ottawa would be included in a sweeping 28-day shutdown that starts on Boxing Day, despite recording relatively fewer cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks than communities in southern Ontario.
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On Tuesday, Ottawa registered 16 new cases of the virus. Across Ontario, there were 2,202 new reported infections, including 636 cases in Toronto, 504 in Peel Region and 218 in York Region.
Responding to reporters’ question at a press conference Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford defended his decision to include Ottawa in the shutdown.
“Just imagine if I said, ‘Let’s open up Ottawa and forget everyone else,’” Ford said, suggesting residents from Gatineau and elsewhere in the province would “flock” to the city.
“We just can’t take any unnecessary risks right now … We need to protect the people of Ottawa,” he added.