Ontario Premier Doug Ford broke down and issued a tearful apology after his province implemented, then relaxed, the strictest coronavirus restrictions in North America. His critics weren’t appeased.
The Canadian province of Ontario has had the longest lockdown of any North American territory, with little to show for its efforts except business closures and a spike in suicides and depression. Nevertheless, Ford’s government ratcheted up the restrictions last week, sealing off Ontario’s borders to non-essential travellers, extending a stay-at-home order to six weeks, closing playgrounds, and empowering police to enforce the draconian crackdown.
After a massive public backlash, in which Ontario’s scientific advisers disavowed some of Ford’s decisions, the provincial government reversed course almost immediately, dropping the new police powers and reopening playgrounds. Ford himself addressed the public on Thursday, and apologized for the overreach.
“Simply put, we got it wrong. We made a mistake. These decisions, they left a lot of people really concerned,” Ford said. “For that I am sorry, and I sincerely apologize.”