Premier’s office calls Ottawa mayor ‘reckless and irresponsible’ for opposing lockdown

OTTAWA — Premier Doug Ford’s office blasted Ottawa mayor Jim Watson and medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches on Tuesday for expressing opposition to a lockdown in Ottawa.

In a series of talking points obtained by CTV News, the premier’s office denounces Watson and Etches for their comments on Monday opposing the 28-day provincewide lockdown in Ottawa, which has kept new COVID-19 case numbers low compared to other parts of the province.

“It is reckless and irresponsible for Ottawa’s Mayor and Medical Officer to denounce Ontario’s provincewide shutdown,” the talking points say. “Some politicians and pundits may be okay with body bags piling up on their front door steps but we are not.”

Watson was strongly opposed to the province imposing a lockdown on the city, saying on Monday that there are “no facts to support a lockdown in the city of Ottawa,” and that the decision to impose the lockdown “is not based on our numbers or on the professional advice from OPH to the province’s chief medical officer of health.”

The talking points suggest the provincial government is not pleased with the mayor’s comments that the city is handling the pandemic well.

“While they may argue that they have COVID-19 under control in Ottawa, it is clear that an all hands on deck approach is needed to break these staggering trends,” another talking point says. “Ottawa is not an island; we have to protect the people in the ‘orange’ zone – the same as any other region.”

CTV News has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment.

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