Percy Hatfield MPP, Windsor-Tecumseh

Government of Ontario

Government must address unique circumstances of border communities in COVID-19 response

Published on March 13, 2020

QUEEN’S PARK — Windsor and Essex County area MPPs Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West), Percy Hatfield (Windsor-Tecumseh) and Taras Natyshak (Essex) released the following open letter to the government, calling for the province to address the unique circumstances that border communities face due to COVID-19:

“We are writing today to urge you to ensure that local public health agencies, local hospitals, and primary care providers are provided all the resources they need to prevent the community spread of COVID-19 in the Windsor Essex region and all of Ontario’s border communities, which have unique circumstances and challenges. While other communities will have COVID-19 assessment centres in Ontario, border communities such as ours were excluded from Thursday’s announcement.

In Windsor Essex, we have thousands of people who cross our borders every day to enter the Detroit area. Daily border crossings are also common at entry points like Sault Ste. Marie.

Border communities are unique and as such should warrant particular attention when it comes to being proactive in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Our emergency rooms are already at critical capacity.

We also feel that it is important to recognize the tremendous work that our public health officials are doing to keep Ontarians as safe as possible under these fast evolving and difficult circumstances. It is our job as elected officials to ensure that our public health care system has all the resources needed to contain any spread of this virus, while also dealing with seasonally high volumes of influenza and other illness.

Windsor and Essex County need to know that their government recognizes the stress our community is feeling and that no expense or effort is being spared in the mission to keep our families safe and healthy. We urge you to act quickly to address our concerns.”

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