At a meeting earlier today, Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) discussed the importance of a safe return to in-person learning for our young people’s mental health and well-being, and approved the following related motion:
WHEREAS Ontario’s students have spent more time learning ‘online’ and out of class during the pandemic (26 weeks and counting) than any other jurisdiction in North America, and;
WHEREAS OBCM Mayors agree that in-person learning is without a doubt the best for children, and they will continue to work with public health to encourage as many children and educators to get vaccinated as soon as possible so we can reopen our schools, and;
WHEREAS the mental, physical and emotional health of our students is paramount as the pandemic enters a third year, and students, parents, teachers and support staff continue to face unpredictability on the return to
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT in keeping within the well-defined roles of municipalities, OBCM mayors encourage expansion of vaccination efforts for students and education workers and extend any other support to school boards and the province to help ensure the reopening of schools and a return to in-class learning on January 17th given that pediatric and health organizations and most parents recognize in class learning as the strongly preferred option for Ontario students;
AND THAT OBCM requests the province take every safety measure possible to keep safe all school staff, daycare staff, and students as in-person learning resumes.