ontario news watch

Let’s turn on splash pads, Ottawa’s mayor tells Ontario after reopening plan OKs golf

OTTAWA — The mayor of Canada’s capital city is asking residents to make waves about the need for Ontario to allow splash pads to open as temperatures soar.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is calling on people to let provincial legislators know they want to see the amenities greenlit to open this weekend alongside golf courses.

People will be able to tee off starting Saturday under Premier Doug Ford’s newly released COVID-19 reopening plan.

Tennis courts, skateboarding parks and archery ranges will be welcome to visitors this weekend, but splash pads will not.

Under the province’s plan they are set to remain closed until June 14, which is when Ontario is set to relax more restrictions on outdoor activities.

Before Ontario released its plan, some splash pads in Ottawa had started to open as temperatures hovered around 30 C and were set to reach about 32 C in the city on Friday.

Ottawa’s chief medical health officer had said public health thinks of splash pads the same way it does playgrounds, which are open in the province.

“Please reconsider your decision to not allow splash-pads to open at the same time as other outdoor activities like golf and basketball. It’s going to be over 30 degrees this long weekend. Please RT and email your MPP,” Watson tweeted at Ford after the plan was released.

His push was also supported by Brampton’s mayor.

“With temps in the high 20s now, I hope the province will permit splash pads to open this long weekend. Outdoor activities are low risk. It’s also an equity issue for families who don’t have their own backyards,” Patrick Brown tweeted.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press