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Premier Doug Ford accuses Ontario teachers’ unions of ‘playing politics’

TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford says Ontario teachers’ unions are “playing politics” by opposing his government’s back-to-school plan. 

Ford says the plan to reopen schools next month was designed with input from health experts.

His comments come as officials with the Toronto District School Board meet to redraw their reopening plan after the province rejected their proposal to cut class sized by shortening the school day.

Along with the teachers’ unions, some parents and school boards have expressed concern about the government plan, which does not cut elementary school class sizes.

In response to those concerns, the province said boards can access $500 million of their own savings to achieve physical distancing in classrooms.

Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 125 new cases of COVID-19 and four new deaths related to the virus.

The total number of cases now stands at 40,870, which includes 2,793 deaths and 37,126 cases marked as resolved.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the “uptick” in cases is due to increases in Peel Region, Toronto and Windsor-Essex. She said 27 of Ontario’s 34 public health regions reported five or fewer cases, while 16 reported no new cases.

The province was able to complete 23,067 tests in the previous day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 18, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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