While premier Doug Ford is set to unveil Stage 1 of reopening the Ontario economy on Thursday, Mississauga’s mayor says the city isn't ready to reopen yet.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said that while she welcomes the gradual reopening of Ontario's economy, she wants to remind the public that the pandemic is much different in the GTA than in smaller and more remote areas of the province.
"Cases as a whole in Ontario are declining, but that is not the case here in the GTHA. This is the tale of two pandemics in Ontario," said Crombie.
Crombie explained that she wants the province to take the new case rates across the GTHA into consideration ahead of the government's planned announcement of reopening the economy. Mississauga's mayor said Peel and Toronto currently account for 65% of all new cases in Ontario this week.
"We're making substantial progress, but we can't get ahead of ourselves too quickly or we run the risk of a second wave and none of us want that," said Crombie. "My message to the province is clear: Premier, Mississauga is not yet ready to reopen up this quickly."
Crombie said that while she understands "the desire to move forward as a province" she believes there needs to be a "tailored, regional approach for the GTHA driven by localized data" similar to what other jurisdictions that have been heavily impacted by the virus have done, including New York and Quebec.
"This approach would complement the province's framework for reopening. I'm also calling on the province to consult with municipalities before making decisions of this magnitude."
According to Peel Public Health , 3,249 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the region to date and 217 people have died from the virus. Peel Public Health says 161 deaths have occurred in Mississauga, while 55 deaths have been reported in Brampton and one death has been reported in Caledon. As of May 13, there are 1,694 cases in Mississauga, 1,466 cases in Brampton, and 83 in Caledon.