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Schreiner slams premier for conflicting advice

The premier gave different advice on Trinity-Bellwoods attendees than the top doctor.

Green Party leader and Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner slammed Ontario’s premier on Monday after his advice conflicted with that of the province’s top public health official.

Premier Doug Ford pushed the nearly 10,000 individuals who gathered at a Toronto park on Saturday to get tested for the coronavirus. A few hours later, Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams asked attendees to self-isolate for 14 days, avoid contacting those considered vulnerable and don masks when a six-foot distance is impossible.

In contrast to the premier, Dr. Williams made it clear that those who went to Trinity-Bellwoods Park over the weekend should only get tested at the end of the quarantine period or if there are significant symptoms as they monitor their own health.

Williams’ request is part of an effort not to overwhelm the healthcare system in the city as part of the larger aim of bringing down the number of daily COVID-19 cases, the disease caused by the virus that originated in China late last year,

Schreiner was not impressed with the apparent divergence in advice from the premier.

“Our leaders should be singing from the same hymn book, not giving conflicting advice to the public,” the Green MPP said in a statement.

“The premier is clearly not on the same page as the province’s top health officials since he dished out medical advice that they contradicted a few hours later.”

Ontario started stage one of reopening the province nearly a week ago. Schreiner argued that Monday’s mixed messaging could point to the government moving too fast with a post-pandemic recovery.

“The continuous stream of mixed messaging suggests that the premier relaxed physical distancing without a real plan for province wide testing and contact tracing,” Schreiner added.

“The premier is putting public health at risk if he is making this up as he goes along.”