To: The Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Attention: Doug Ford, MPP, Premier of Ontario
Re: Measures to promote PUBLIC TRUST AND INVOLVEMENT in Ontario COVID-19 responses
Public trust and involvement are essential for controlling the COVID-19 epidemic in Ontario while protecting the financial, social, physical and mental health of Ontarians. Compassion, understanding and a sense of community and common values are crucial for building and maintaining public trust and involvement.
Ontarians care about the wellbeing of our neighbours and loved ones. We are all capable of making sacrifices for the common good, if we understand the reasons for these sacrifices, the necessary actions, and are given enough time to respond. We need clear, transparent, timely communication of evidence and its use in decision-making processes and what we need to do to help each other.
Clear, transparent, timely communication is essential for effective crisis responses in democracies. It is vital for earning public trust, and for establishing shared goals that most people understand, support and can strive toward. Without transparency and clear, compassionate dialogue with all Ontarians, we will not be able to work together to beat the COVID-19 epidemic.
To promote public trust and involvement in Ontario COVID-19 responses, and foster compassion, understanding and a sense of community and common values, we, the undersigned residents of Ontario, petition our political and public leaders to adopt the following recommendations:
1) Provide TRANSPARENT, CLEAR EVIDENCE AND COMMUNICATION to help Ontarians make informed decisions.
- A. Include information with the weekly Public Health Ontario Epidemiologic Summary that will help us understand WHY restrictions are increased or relaxed. 1) Speed and effectiveness of testing, contact-tracing and isolation; 2) Changes in major COVID-19 transmission settings over time; 3) Projected dates when healthcare capacity will be reached; 4) Projected and actual employment and income impacts of public health restrictions on Ontarians, including in sectors most affected by restrictions, and for communities in/most at risk of poverty. See Appendix for details.
- B. Establish transparent, public criteria for moving from one restriction stage to another by using a traffic light system (green, yellow, red) to communicate when regions are approaching a new stage of restriction or relaxation, so that people understand what may be coming. See Appendix for details.
- C. Identify independent experts with exceptional communication skills to publicly review & explain Weekly Epidemiologic Reports and additional evidence supporting government policy decisions. See Appendix for details.
2) Share how Ontarians and our communities are helping others respond to COVID-19
- A. Use daily briefing platform to profile individual Ontarians facing different struggles related to COVID-19, and the work that individuals and communities are doing to help each other. Highlight hope, resilience and direct actions Ontarians are taking to help each other during the pandemic. See Appendix for details.
- B. Build or support a simple digital platform or website allowing volunteer groups to communicate quickly with each other about how they can help each other and advocate for unmet needs, and advertise needs to others who can help. This is especially important for groups supporting those in greatest need who face barriers to accessing support. This will empower individuals and their communities.
Members of the Provincial Command Table, Ministry of Health
Christine Elliott, MPP, Minister of Health
Dr. Merrillee Fullerton, MPP, Minister of Long-Term Care
Members of the Executive Council of Ontario
Steven Davidson, Secretary of Cabinet
Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Ontario
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Ontario
Andrea Horwath MPP, Leader of the Official Opposition
Mike Schreiner MPP, Leader of the Ontario Green Party
Steven Del Luca, Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party
All Members of the Legislative Assembly
Petition prepared by COVID-19 Resources Canada firstname.lastname@example.org