'Give me a break': Ontario premier rips mayors getting haircuts in protest of being left out of reopening
Published Tuesday, June 9, 2020 12:43PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, June 9, 2020 6:58PM EDT
KITCHENER -- Premier Doug Ford criticized two Ontario mayors for getting haircuts on Tuesday in protest of being left out of the province's next stage of reopening.
The leaders of Norfolk and Haldimand counties are protesting the province’s regional reopening plan by losing some locks.
Norfolk County Mayor Kristal Chopp and Haldimand County mayor Ken Hewitt are getting haircuts in protest on Tuesday.
They’re upset that their regions were not given the go ahead to further ease restrictions as part of Ontario’s stage two of reopening, meaning that salons and restaurants—allowed to open in neighbouring counties—are not allowed to reopen.
They say it doesn’t make sense that some businesses can reopen, but you still can’t get a haircut.
Yesterday, the province announced that all but 10 of Ontario’s health unit regions can enter stage two reopening as of Friday.
Some of the businesses and services that can now operate under those guidelines include things like hair salons, restaurant patios and splash pads.
Most of the regions that aren’t allowed to move forward are in Toronto and surrounding areas like Peel, Halton, Durham, York and Hamilton, but the list also includes Norfolk and Haldimand.
It’s not the first time Chopp has butted heads with Premier Doug Ford over public health measures surrounding COVID-19.
Last month, Haldimand and Norfolk counties threatened big fines for cottage-goers and seasonal residents. That fact wasn't lost on Ford, who addressed the protest during his press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
"You can't be telling everyone to stay away and, 'we're going to fine you if you the cottage that you pay taxes for,' and the most outspoken in the entire province, and a couple weeks later sitting there getting a haircut and going against the protocols. Give me a break, really," he said.
"They're the last two mayors in the whole province out of 444 mayors that I would think would be doing this but you know, this pandemic does strange things for people."
The mayors of both counties say the decision to exclude them was made by the province without input from the medical officer of health.
They add that it’s unclear to them why Haldimand and Norfolk aren’t being allowed to move into stage two.
The latest data from the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit shows there are 397 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in these counties. That includes 140 people who have recovered.