Mississauga's mayor wants Ford to reverse ban on outdoor activities, including golf and tennis

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The mayor of Mississauga is urging Premier Doug Ford to reconsider the ban on outdoor recreational activities, including tennis and golf, amid the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said she was pleased that the province reversed their decision on some of the new measures announced Friday, including enhanced police powers and closing playgrounds.

“I was strongly opposed to enhancing the powers of police to arbitrarily stopping and questioning people. I also believe that the risk of transmission from outdoor activities is extremely low and I was disappointed that playgrounds and other outdoor recreational activities and amenities were closed. The science table did not support these actions either,” she said.

“I received so many emails from residents on how frustrated, disappointed and frankly angry they were at some of these measures and I was very relieved and thankful that the premier and the solicitor general listened to Ontarians and walked back the policy on enhanced police powers... I do want to thank the premier for also lifting the restrictions on outdoor playgrounds.”

She said she hopes the province changes course with the ban on other outdoor activities.

As you know, outdoor recreation is essential to the overall health and wellbeing of children and their families. But it is also essential to adults,” she said.

“So I’m asking the premier to please reconsider restrictions on outdoor recreation, such as golf and tennis.”

The province is also prohibiting outdoor gatherings of any size with anyone outside of your household.

Ontario’s Science Advisory Table, which is tasked with providing expert advice to the Ford government on the COVID-19 pandemic, released a report on Tuesday speaking out against some of the province’s policies surrounding outdoor activities.

In the report, the group said that any policies discouraging safe outdoor activities will “not control COVID-19 and will disproportionately harm children and those who do not have access to their own greenspace.”

The group encouraged the Ford government to set their sights on “public health guidance that works,” including discouraging people from gathering indoors with people they don’t live with but allowing them to spend time with those people outside while following proper masking and distancing protocols.