Reopen GTA-Hamilton area with one set of restrictions, mayors tell Premier Ford

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Ontario should reopen the Greater Toronto-Hamilton area with one set of rules — not the past confusing patchwork of zones that had residents hopping borders to shop or dine out, several mayors say.

“To me, whatever the rules are, they should be applicable to the entire region,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said Wednesday, a day before Premier Doug Ford is expected to unveil a detailed blueprint for easing Ontario’s pandemic restrictions.

Tory’s desire was echoed by mayors of Hamilton, Markham, Brampton, Oshawa and Caledon, including some who in past months had pushed the province to loosen restrictions on their communities.

Toronto’s mayor said he hopes for “simple, decisive and yet cautious” rules that don’t confuse GTHA residents, who routinely cross municipal borders to work, dine and shop and often get information from the same news sources.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s public health chief, said the new framework must be “practical (and) it has to be readily communicated and understandable to the large swath of the province’s population that lives, works and plays in this Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.”