Ontario Premier Doug Ford at his daily briefing, April 25, 2020. YOUTUBE

Ford says “people make mistakes” but that going out with symptoms is “like walking around with a loaded gun”

Premier Doug Ford was asked Saturday about Pelham Town Councillor Ron Kore’s continued attendance, both at council and his Fonthill Sobeys store, while exhibiting respiratory illness symptoms.

“It’s terrible what happened. First of all, my heart prayers go out to [late Councillor Mike Ciolfi’s] family,” Ford said at his daily COVID-19 media briefing. “People make mistakes, but folks, please, we’ve come so far.”

Ciolfi died April 12. While no cause of death has officially been given, he had previously been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Ciolfi sat approximately eight feet from Kore at Pelham Town Council’s March 23 meeting, with Kore exhibiting apparent respiratory illness symptoms. There is no evidence that Kore was the source of Ciolfi’s illness.

According to employees of the Fonthill Sobeys location that Kore managed, he also continued working at the store for weeks while displaying symptoms. A Sobeys corporate spokesperson confirmed on April 22 that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Kore has since been removed from his job “temporarily,” according to the spokesperson, while the company conducts an internal investigation.

Ford then turned Saturday’s answer into criticism of a group of “anti-shutdown” protesters outside of Queen’s Park in Toronto, before CTV reporter Nick Dixon followed up with a question about what defenses people have against authority figures like Kore—a manager of a retail outlet and an elected official —who appear to flout public health advisories.

“Call your public health, and if you really want to shame them, call the local media,” Ford said. “It’s just being irresponsible. If you have symptoms, it’s like walking around with a loaded gun in your hand.”

It’s just being irresponsible. If you have symptoms, it’s like walking around with a loaded gun in your hand.

Kore voted against Pelham’s COVID-19 insurance bylaw at council’s March 17 special meeting, asking CAO David Cribbs why Town staff were preparing for something “negative.”

The insurance bylaw allows staff to continue functioning in the event councillors are felled by the illness.

According to email provided to the Voice, Kore also insisted on attending the April 6 meeting of council in person, despite having the ability to do so electronically amid the pandemic. Ultimately he did not attempt to enter Town Hall, nor did he attend the meeting by teleconference.

Kore has ignored repeated requests for comment from multiple media outlets, including the Voice, but reportedly told CBC Hamilton last week that “there is another side to the story,” and that he would speak out after “everything settles down.” He did not reply to a request for comment on the Premier’s remarks.

 

 

6 COMMENTS

  1. In this sad scenario we have basically the “measure”of two men. Ciolfi realizing that he was ill isolated himself, he didn’t continue in the public realm. He did the right thing. Sadly despite his quarantine effort, he passed away. But he took his illness seriously.

    Unfortunately the other man Kore, didn’t think of anyone but himself. Kore attended business and public events and premises. He could have easily just stayed away until he was better or perhaps should have sought medical testing sooner to determine the status of his infection.

    The measure of a decent man is courage and respect for his fellowmen. One man took trait to his death, the other man just displayed selfishness.

  2. In this sad scenario we have basically the “measure”of two men. Ciolfi realizing that he was ill isolated himself, he didn’t continue in the public realm. He did the right thing. Sadly despite his quarantine effort, he passed away. But he took his illness seriously.

    Unfortunately the other man Kore, didn’t think of anyone but himself. Kore attended business and public events and premises. He could have easily just stayed away until he was better or perhaps should have sought medical testing sooner to determine the status of his infection.

    The measure of a decent man is courage and respect for his fellowmen. One man took that trait to his death, the other man just displayed selfishness.

  3. Thanks to the VoP for breaking this story.
    Without you how would we know what’s happening locally?
    When would this have come to light?
    A extremely valuable community resource!
    Thanks
    Keep at it!

    • Kore demonstrated he was ill with a respiratory illness while working at his grocery store despite staff begging him to go home, and is seen on camera while at council meetings. What further evidence is required. Even if it was “just a cold” he should have been at home not out spreading his germs. I don’t care what his reasoning is or will be. Is he that obtuse that he didn’t think he needed isolation four weeks ago when there has been so much publicity about staying away from public places if you have a respiratory illness. Even his own store asks you to refrain from entering if you have such symptoms. His behaviour is egregious and careless.

  4. Bob…..
    Please explain your comment “rush to judement and blame”.
    We are all waitiing.
    Vast majoity of people on these threads seem to all have the same opinion,
    which is base on facts /evidence

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