Ontario asks feds to open border for Toronto Blue Jays

TORONTO — Ontario’s sports minister has asked the federal government to allow the Toronto Blue Jays to play in Canada.

Lisa MacLeod says in a letter sent to her federal counterpart, Steven Guilbeault, that the Ontario government supports the Blue Jays playing at Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto.

MacLeod notes that in Step 3 of Ontario’s recovery plan, the Jays would be able to play with limited spectators at Rogers Centre.

Although the domed Rogers Centre has a retractable roof, it qualifies as an outdoor venue under the provincial regulations.

Read more: Blue Jays submit proposal to federal government for return to play in Toronto at Rogers Centre

Federal co-operation is necessary to let the Blue Jays and their opponents to cross the border with the United States as part of Major League Baseball’s schedule.

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Canada’s deputy chief public health officer said Thursday that the Blue Jays’ return to Canadian soil is “trending in a very good direction,” but did not give a firm date for a decision.

Dr. Howard Njoo said there had been “a lot of good back-and-forth” between the franchise and the government over the team’s application for a so-called “National Interest Exemption” to Canada’s COVID-19 travel restrictions.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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