Niagara MPPs Take Ontario Premier Doug Ford to Task on Niagara’s Vaccine Rollout

Niagara NDP MPPs Wayne Gates and Jennie Stevens questioned Ford this March 30th, 2021 on the persistent issues Niagara’s seniors are facing 

“Yesterday (this past March 29th) the premier (Doug Ford) stood in Niagara and said anyone over 70 could simply call and get a vaccination appointment. Well if we spoke to residents he would know that all day they were struggling all day to get appointments.”          – Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates.

A News Release from Ontario’s NDP Official Opposition Party

Posted March 30th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates and St. Cathariines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

QUEENS PARK — Niagara NDP MPPs Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) and Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) questioned Doug Ford Tuesday on the persistent issues Niagara’s seniors are facing as they try to use the provincial booking portal to get the vaccines they need to protect themselves and others.

“As you were taking a victory lap inside one of Niagara’s vaccination clinics, my office was busy answering dozens of questions as to why there were not enough appointments available for seniors over 70 and why the province’s program had glitched, again,” said Stevens to Ford during question period Tuesday at the Ontario legislature.

Stevens told MPPs at the legislature that just one of the issues was that the Niagara Region had no advance warning from the province that they would be allowed to give vaccines to residents over 70, which meant a delay for seniors to get access to appointments on the booking system.

“While you were on a photo-op inside of our vaccination centre, outside that centre there was still work to do,” said Stevens.

Gates pointed out that seniors in Fort Erie were told less than 24 hours before their vaccinations that they had been overbooked because of a glitch and their appointments cancelled. The problem had been raised with the province 10 days earlier, but wasn’t fixed. Seniors were then rebooked at sites outside of Fort Erie that forced seniors, many with mobility issues, to find transportation to get to their vaccine appointments.

“Yesterday the premier stood in Niagara and said anyone over 70 could simply call and get a vaccination appointment. Well if we spoke to residents he would know that all day they were struggling all day to get appointments,” said Gates.

“Pharmacies are still just waiting for the doses they need to begin saving lives in our region. The people of Niagara have already dealt with their Moderna vaccines being diverted. When will the premier stop pretending the vaccine rollout is going smoothly in Niagara and take action to protect residents?”, asked Gates.

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4 responses to “Niagara MPPs Take Ontario Premier Doug Ford to Task on Niagara’s Vaccine Rollout

  1. Gail Benjafield

    I have just sent a letter to The Standard to tell them of the chaos caused yesterday morning at the Seymour Hanna arena when seniors were left standing in long lineups, with their appointments overdue because Doug Ford and his retinue decided to drop in for a photo-op on his way to his favoured Niagara Mayor Diodoti for yet another photo-op. Cold and distressed we were, and had no reason given as to why. The health team were splendid, once we were allowed in.

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  2. Linda McKellar

    I phoned at 8:30 as soon as I heard on CHCH that Niagara was taking bookings. The online system rejected me (Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Niagara Falls and St Catharines) because, as I found out later, they were all fully booked. It didn’t even tell me WHY I was rejected but just kept blocking me. I phoned and was told there was an opening at the YORK rec center. Yahoo! In Toronto (Ford country) you can just walk into a pharmacy.

    After I watched the news again at 6, it said they were getting more vaccines in Niagara soon so I checked online and got an appointment for April 5th. I have to go to St Catharines from Fort Erie but I grabbed it. I must have just got in on the new batch they were to receive. I’m sure they are all booked up again. Fort Erie, Port Colborne and the rest of the peninsula are apparently disposable.

    I feel badly for people who have trouble getting to places out of town. I have no idea where the Seymour Hannah arena is but I’ll get there. It is also very difficult for seniors to book if they have no access to or little comprehension of a computer and get stuck on hold for an hour as I did. You are suppose to scan the code on your smart phone when it is emailed to you. Not everyone has a smart phone either. They sure haven’t made it easy.

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  3. Pamela Van Gelder

    I have sent emails to Sam Oosterhoff & Doug Ford re: where are the vaccines for Niagara. Sam replied quickly but with no solution or suggestions to help our area. I have yet to hear from Premier Ford but understand that he visited our region on March 29 & can only hope that having seen the crawl out in our area he will expedite vaccines. Even the Astra Zeneca is not available here. What the hell is going on. The vaccines slated for our area are being sent to other areas. We have a huge number of older citizens in Niagara. We need to get this rolling here. It is unforgiveable that we, having so many seniors in our area, have been so neglected . Lets go people. Stop talking & holding up lines for yet another photo op & get us the vaccines!!!! Talk is cheap!

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    • Pamela van gelder

      Further to my attached email I was on the shoppers drug mart website at 6:30 am on April 2nd .& was given an appt fir 5:30 Monday at the rymall rd location. I did not receive a confirmation email so I called the shoppers. I was told that theee had been another glitch in the system & that they would not even be receiving controversial astra Zeneca until TUESDAY so my appt was not actually an appt ! The poor pharmacist said someone would be calling on Monday to let me know when if at all they would be getting the vaccine & assured me I would be put “on a list” & would get the vaccine at some point. Good thing I called I guess! The confusion around what is happening to our vaccines is unacceptable & the delay to Our community is tantamount to murder!

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