Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown slammed Ontario's restrictions on outdoor team sports as "illogical" at a Wednesday news conference with stakeholders of children's sports organizations, and said that they must be changed.
"Kids sports have been shut down for a long time and there is a safe way to allow kids sports again. I think it's important for children's mental health I think it's important for their physical health," said Brown.
According to CP24, outdoor team sports and leagues are allowed as of Today, as Ontario is now, in the second step of its reopening plan. However, the province says such activities must be "Modified to avoid personal contact."
Brown stated that "Our summer playing season is short, and I just want to say, the rules under Stage 2 for minor sports are illogical."
Adding, "the notion that you can't be within nine feet of another player, how do you have a kids’ soccer game when they have to be nine feet apart? It means you'd be blowing the whistle literally every 10 seconds to shut downplay. It puts an unfair liability on the organizers."
Brown also mentioned that medical experts support the easing of restrictions around children's sports. "I've listened to all the medical advice, I've listened to the science and if it is outdoors, it is safe. If it's outdoors, it's low risk,"
"Our sporting organizations are ready. They've all submitted safe restart plans to how they can get their leagues running properly in a safe manner."
Brown also criticized the Ontario Government for keeping indoor pools closed until Step 3. This decision by the Ontario government is inconsistent with their past restrictions.
Indoor pools were allowed to open in Stage 2 of last year's reopening plan, and remained open during the partial lockdown of COVID-19 hotspots in October 2020.
"I look at the data according to the World Health Organization, the COVID-19 virus does not transmit through water while swimming," Said Brown.
"Drowning prevention, this is a life necessity teaching children how to swim, and there are only so many outdoor bodies of water that are available. It's also an equity issue. There's a lot of people that don't have access to a private pool."
Ontario has the slowest reopening plan in North America, and as of now facilities like indoor pools aren't expected to reopen until late July.