Canada

Petitions call on Ford government to reverse outdoor activity ban

Scott Costello has launched an online petition calling on the province to reverse its decision to close golf courses.

The Ontario government faces major pushback on shutting down several outdoor activities as part of its latest stay-at-home order.

In addition to closing playgrounds last Friday — a measure that was quickly reversed — the Ford government nixed tennis, golf, camping and other activities.

Thousands of Ontarians are voicing their displeasure to the outdoor restrictions on Change.org, among them Scott Costello’s change.org petition to reverse the decision to close Ontario’s golf courses.

As of early Tuesday evening, it had had 36,000 signatures towards a goal of 50,000 while Mark Kalbfleisch’s change.org petition to get golfing, rowing, tennis, picnicking and pickleball back in Ontario had 31,249 signatures of its goal of 35,000.

“Closing down golf courses in Ontario is unnecessary and irresponsible by the provincial government,” wrote Costello on his page.

“Intermediate steps such as solo or no-carts would be more appropriate. Golfers who walk or ride in a cart solo are already following measures to make the game safe. Reverse the closure of golf courses in Ontario!”

Bobcaygeon restauranteur Adam Matthews, who runs the seasonal 72 Bolton Sports Cafe, wants all outside patios in the province to be open again.

His petition had 669 signatures towards his goal of 1,000 by late Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve seen the petitions coming across with the golf and that. I figured why not bring about awareness to the restaurants?” said Matthews, who’s owned his restaurant for 18 years.

“We’re losing tens of thousands of dollars by this opening and closing every couple of months. There’s just no rhyme or reason for it. And then we all go walk in the big-box stores and you’re shoulder to shoulder with people, and it’s just like, ‘I have to close?’”

  1. It was no surprise that Ontario Premier Doug Ford walked back some of his earlier rules, writes Anthony Furey.

    FUREY: The Ford government backed down — but where was the apology?

  2. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath

    Public health, not police state, NDP tells Ford

  3. A closed-off playground at the CNE grounds in Toronto, Ont. on Friday April 3, 2020.

    Doug Ford's not playing now

Matthew, who normally has a staff of 15, chose not to open again when restaurant patios recently could, preferring instead to wait until he knew a continuous opening was likely.

He will be open for takeout next week.

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