Ontario Premier Doug Ford, along with provincial cabinet ministers Lisa Thompson and Steve Clark, is set to host a Zoom fundraising event on Thursday evening for the province's Progressive Conservative Party.
The event, which includes a discussion "on the issues facing [Ontario] during these challenging times and what [the] government is doing to help," costs $1,000 to attend.
Ontario Liberal Party leader Stephen Del Duca described the event as "farcical," asking "what planet is that okay on?"
The event comes as the embattled Premier faces increasing calls to resign over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
As Ontario experiences its third wave of coronavirus, Ford has taken drastic measures to curb the spread of the virus, with many criticizing his decisions as authoritarian and nonsensical.
Last week, the Ford government announced that it would be closing all outdoor children's facilities including sports fields and playgrounds, although the government quickly followed up by announcing that playgrounds would remain open amid backlash. Many have questioned the logic behind closing outdoor sports fields, noting that coronavirus spreads much more easily indoors than it does outdoors and that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including through exercise, allows the body to better defend itself against coronavirus.
More controversially, Ford also announced last week that the government would be allowing police officers to stop anyone who is outside their house, ensuring that they are engaging in essential activities which are not prohibited under the stay-at-home orders.
The announcement received intense criticism from both supporters and opponents of lockdown measures, with some even comparing the Ford government's actions to those of a police state. "This government chose a police state over public health," said one NDP MPP.
Police departments across Ontario also expressed opposition to the order, with many major municipal police departments across the province assuring residents that they would not be randomly stopping anyone. Peel Regional Police Association President Adrian Woolley complained that the measures "make the police the bad guy" and asserted that the laws violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Despite the strict measures, the province continues to record more than 3,000 coronavirus cases per day, with the number peaking at nearly 5,000 last week.
Calls for Ford's resignation have since grown dramatically, with the American Washington Post publishing an op-ed calling upon Ford to resign. Ontario NDP Opposition Leader Andrea Horwath and Liberal Party Leader Del Duca have also called for Ford's resignation, as have members of Ontario's medical community.
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