SDG Warden Frank Prevost called on senior levels of government to get more vaccines to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). At a recent press conference, he asked other local Wardens of neighbouring counties, and mayors and councillors in the townships of eastern Ontario, to follow his lead and demand action from the province and the federal governments.
His call to action follows the cancellation of 10,000 vaccine appointments at two locations in Scarborough.
Frank says, “In short, we are fed up.” Noting that countries like the United States are opening up thanks to mass vaccination, he insists that due to a lack of adequate vaccine supply, and the fact that COVID-19 Variants of Concern are well entrenched in Ontario, Eastern Ontario is again in a lockdown that could have been prevented. Businesses are shuttered, and residents are suffering. He hopes the provincial and federal governments, as well as the MPs and MPPs, will “turn heartfelt words into concrete action.”
In order for EOHU to vaccinate the 170,000 residents in the region who are eligible for vaccination, they need vaccines. He notes that, although the EOHU has administered 35,000 vaccines, there are still another 35,000 that need to be done, and asks both federal and provincial governments to be open and honest with residents. He explains that “We keep hearing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel – but this seems like an awfully long tunnel. The yo-yoing our residents have been forced to grapple with these last few months is unacceptable. In one breath we are told vaccines are coming and hope is on the horizon. But at the same time, some vaccine clinics are being cancelled due to lack of supply, schools are shuttered, and businesses closed.” He sees a double standard, where large grocery or box stores can open, but small businesses, such as barber shops, where numbers could be controlled and the environment sanitized, are forced to be closed.
Frank says that if our numbers of COVID-19 cases are increasing substantially because of gatherings, which is indeed the current message from the EOHU, that Ontario must implement a curfew similar to Quebec. He maintains that instituting a 9 pm curfew, and setting fines of $1000 for breaking the curfew, is the only way to keep people from gathering. Paying the fines, he says, should be tied to the ability to renew a drivers licence. He notes that he has three daughters who go out and mingle with friends in groups of more than 3. The only way to make sure his daughters and other young people stay home is by imposing a curfew.