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Petition to re-open Ontario ski hills nears 85K names
Jan. 6, 2021
Bryan Passifiume

One man’s mission to convince Queen’s Park to re-open Ontario’s ski and snowboarding runs is catching some air.

And just two weeks after Brantford’s Dwayne Cardoso started the petition, it’s already garnered nearly 85,000 signatures.

Petition to re-open Ontario ski hills nears 85K names
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“I started the petition for my son, more than anything,” he said of his 11-year-old boy Eli, who is autistic and finds rare solace from his condition on the slopes -- and has since he was very young.

“It’s his happy place -- it’s something we do every winter, now unfortunately we cannot do.”

Part of the province-wide lockdown measures imposed by Premier Doug Ford on Dec. 26 include the closure of Ontario’s ski and snowboarding hills -- a move decried by both enthusiasts and the industry, who warn of disastrous effects and economic impacts into the tens of millions.

Cardoso says his petition has taken off, seeing thousands of signature per day and even people sending it his way, urging him to sign.

“It’s pretty funny,” he said.

“A lot of people have taken interest in it.”

Like many Ontarians, skiing and snowboarding is an important part of Cardoso’s family -- and a key part of their life during the winter months.

“We’ve spent a fortune just to be able to do it,” he said.

“It’s $3,500 per year just in seasons’ passes for the five of us.”

Attempts to bring his concerns directly to lawmakers have gone nowhere, he said -- with calls and emails to both local and provincial politicians going unanswered.

Public health measures notwithstanding, Cardoso said making sure kids get enough exercise and time outdoors is crucial for both their physical and mental wellbeing.